Theses Bachelor's

Characterizing the “Jewish Vote” in American Electoral Politics: a Quantitative Methods Political Science Thesis

Klopman, Ohad

Scholars of Jewish politics have grappled with Jews’ exceptional preference for liberal policies and candidates for decades, dating back as early as the immediate postwar period. As the state of Israel has matured and its political, economic, and military relationships with the United States have strengthened, Jewish politics has grown more complicated. American Jews are often faced with electoral choices that require them to negotiate between domestic policy ideals and support for Israel. All the while, antisemitic charges of dual loyalty continue to permeate extremist corners of political discourse. The complicated political environment surrounding Jewish voters has made it challenging for scholars to identify a coherent Jewish political attitude and to determine how much, if at all, Jewish domestic electoral preferences are divorced from their support for Israel. In this study, I conduct a conjoint choice-based experiment in which participants choose between hypothetical political candidates whose stances on Israel and a series of domestic policy issues are randomly generated. Comparing between a targeted sample of Jews and a general-population sample of participants recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk, I find significant evidence that Jewish voting preferences are substantially influenced by the candidate’s stance on Israel. I conclude that when Jews feel that Israel is under attack by a candidate, they may set aside their baseline liberal preferences and vote for the candidate who is more likely to protect Israel, even if it means settling for a candidate less aligned with their domestic preferences.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Shapiro, Robert Yale
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 2, 2022