Identity versus Identity: Israel and Evangelicals and the Two-Front War for Jewish Votes

Politics and Religion, Vol. 2, pp. 395–419, 2009

25 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2009

See all articles by Mark Lichbach

Mark Lichbach

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Eric M. Uslaner

University of Maryland, College Park; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: December 15, 2009

Abstract

Republicans made major efforts to win a larger share of the Jewish vote in 2004 by emphasizing their strong support for Israel. They partially succeeded, but did not make a dent in the overall loyalty of American Jews to the Democratic party, since they lost approximately as many votes because of Jews’ negative reactions to the party’s evangelical base. We argue that both Israel and worries over evangelical influence in the country reflect concerns about Jewish identity, above and beyond disagreements on specific social issues We compare American Jewish voting behavior and liberalism to non-Jews in 2004 using a survey of Jews from the National Jewish Democratic Coalition and the American National Election Study. For non-Jews, attitudes toward evangelicals are closely linked to social issues, but for Jews this correlation is small. The Jewish reaction to evangelicals is more of an issue of identity and the close ties of evangelicals to the Republican party keeps many Jews Democratic. Attitudes toward evangelicals are far more important to Jewish voting behavior than for non-Jewish voters.

Suggested Citation

Lichbach, Mark and Uslaner, Eric M., Identity versus Identity: Israel and Evangelicals and the Two-Front War for Jewish Votes (December 15, 2009). Politics and Religion, Vol. 2, pp. 395–419, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1523727 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1523727

Mark Lichbach

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Eric M. Uslaner (Contact Author)

University of Maryland, College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
+1301 405 4151 (Phone)
+1301 314 9690 (Fax)

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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