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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Why Iowa?

Just a few hours after this post goes up, the Iowa caucuses will get under way and we will have the first real indication of who the Republican nominee for President might be. Rabbi David Kaufman, a Jewish conservative and Reform rabbi from Iowa explains why the Iowa caucuses are different than other primary elections in the US.
There are many of you around the country wondering, “Why Iowa?” One of the main reasons is that in Iowa people can actually meet the candidates and interact with them on issues. Candidates come to speak to relatively small gatherings and share their views on topics on topics much more specific than they would do in a larger context. Iowans take the responsibility of vetting the candidates very seriously. Whether or not the caucus results follow the eventual nomination, the caucus winner has won the nomination about half of the time, the process helps those around the nation get to know the candidates much better.

This year, with only a Republican caucus, not everyone is involved in the Jewish community. That said, I am sure that many would be surprised by the number of Reform and Conservative Jews who are. One need not pledge to vote Republican to participate in the caucus and many moderate Democrats will change their affiliation for one day so as to participate in the Republican caucus, so there are a few Democrats who will be attending and participating in the caucus.

Overall, the winner of the caucus doesn’t mean as much as being in the top three or four. Constituent groups make themselves known in Iowa and support their group’s candidate. The religious right in Iowa has been debating among Santorum, Bachman, Perry and Gingrich. Santorum seems to be the clear favorite of that group. Ron Paul has his own following of Libertarian, isolationist, and small government supporters. Gingrich is a favorite of Reaganites and Orthodox Jews. Romney seems to be the favorite among the Republican Conservative and Reform Jews, mostly because of his more moderate social views.

On Israel, all but Paul, support a strong US-Israel relationship though each has a slightly different view of it. Support for Israel will not be a problem from this group. In fact, many of the candidates seem to almost be tripping over their feet to offer public support for Israel.

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At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ron Paul has his own following of Libertarian, isolationist, and small government supporters."

Oh, and readers of Stormfront. Any Posse Comitatus stragglers who didn't get swept up by the Feds over the years. Them too.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Jewish (political)conservative Reform Rabbi is an oxymoron of sorts.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Also, many Jews prefer Romney because they want someone with the best chance to beat Obama. Even Shmuel Rosner has Romney as the only candidate with a better score than Obama in his Israel Factor polling.


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