As he moves closer to winning the Democratic presidential nomination, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Barack Obama has a huge problem winning the trust of Jewish voters, and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain knows it. On Friday, Mr. McCain criticized Mr. Obama for advocating unconditional talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who last week called Israel a "stinking corpse" which is doomed to disappear. In October, Mr. Obama attacked then-Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for supporting a nonbinding Senate resolution declaring Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization — which it manifestly is. (The resolution passed the Senate 76-22 in September, winning the votes of almost half of Senate Democrats.)And he didn't help himself much at The Atlantic either.
On Friday, Robert Malley, an Obama advisor, resigned from the senator's campaign as reports surfaced that he had met with the terrorist group Hamas. Last month, Hamas political advisor Ahmad Yousef said on WABC Radio in New York that he hoped Mr. Obama would be elected president. Mr. McCain said Hamas would never want him to be president, "so if Mr. Obama is favored by Hamas, I think people can make judgments accordingly."
JG: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?Nope, not very helpful.
BO: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy.
Mr. Obama sternly rejected the Hamas endorsement, but the latest Gallup polls suggest he has a significant and growing problem in keeping Jewish voters in the Democratic fold. The latest Gallup polls show that in a contest with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama would secure 61 percent of the Jewish vote to the Republican's 32 percent. In 2004 and 2006 elections, by contrast, Jewish voters favored the Democratic Party by a 75 percent to 25 percent margin. This suggests that support for the Democratic Party standard-bearer among Jews could be approaching its lowest levels in decades. The Republicans' best showing was achieved by Ronald Reagan in 1980, when he won 40 percent of the Jewish vote.Oh, goodness.