American Jews in Israel have been voting in favor of Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, exit polls indicated Thursday, and if the trend holds true, that would mean a massive shift in Jewish voting patterns.
Jews represent just 2.2 percent of the U.S. population, with more than 70 percent identifying themselves as Democrats.
The Jerusalem Post reported Trump is leading Clinton 49 percent to 44 percent among Jews in Israel. The vote was tabulated by iVoteIsrael and Keevoon Global Research.
About two-thirds of the voters said they view both candidates unfavorably and nearly half, 49 percent, said they chose their candidate because of fears of what the other candidate would do in office.
A third of American Jews in Israel are registered Democrats while a quarter are registered Republicans, the Post noted. Twenty-five percent of Trump’s votes came from Democrats; 10 percent of Clinton’s votes came from Republicans.
Trump’s margin among men was 59 percent; Clinton received support from 52 percent of women. Clinton did better with younger Israeli Americans while Trump was the choice of the over 65 crowd.
The pattern seems at odds with the overall Jewish vote going back to 1916. The only year Jews did not choose the Democratic nominee was 1920 when Eugene Debs ran as the Socialist candidate, and even then, only 43 percent voted for Republican Warren G. Harding.
It is unlikely Trump will get support from Jewish voters in the United States this year either. Haaretz noted Trump’s race-based nationalism and anti-Semitic remarks, along with his position on Israel and attacks on Muslims and immigrants are unacceptable.
Members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, among the GOP’s most loyal Jewish backers, refused to give Trump money — casino magnate Sheldon Adelson notwithstanding.
Haartz said Jews see Trump not as the populist maverick he would like people to believe he is, but as a would-be despot who would overturn some of the most cherished ideals through executive order.
Trump supporters have displayed their anti-Semitism at rallies in recent days, in one instance chanting, “Jew-S-A” at reporters and at another a supporter accused reporters of selling out for a “few shekels.” Though his campaign manager disavowed such behavior, the candidate himself has not.
Trump attempted to ingratiate himself among Jews at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference last December, but wound up misusing the Yiddish slang for the male sex organ and said Jews would support him because they like to negotiate the same way he does.