Keith Brooks
International Business Executive Living and Working in Israel

Did Jews really elect the president of the United States in the 2016 election?

Upfront, I will admit I am a registered Democrat, only because Florida would not let one be independent. That has since changed, but I can’t be bothered to change it since I moved to Israel.

My friends know that I care as much about politics as I do about soccer, in other words, I don’t. There is only one political party I belong to, the Jewish people and we have been an independent for millennia.

Yes, over time, we have supported wars, influenced leaders and also helped those that would destroy us, because there was a hope it would save our brethren in the long run.

Faith in Hashem as your leader should preclude your petty views of geopolitics, but it is not for everyone to reach such a level. And your views are petty. You will die some day and I am 100% positive that when asked what you did with your life that backing any political party will win you any points. Many of you will argue otherwise but it is like backing a sports team, you, personally, have no control, no say and no gain.

There are, according to The Steinhardt Social Research Institute’s American Jewish Population Project (AJPP) about 7.2 million Jews living in America. It makes no difference which survey one uses but for the sake of simplicity I will say there are 7 million.

Keep in mind during the last US election, over 230 million Voting Eligible People (VEP) could have voted. The details can be found here. But only a little more than 135 million voted based on that data and 62 million+ went to President Trump and 65 million+ went to Hilary Clinton.

This extremely data filled detailed map of the US election clearly shows an overwhelming majority of Red (Republican). It is highly interactive and you should spend some time with it, follow this link to it to see it more clearly.

However, the election goes by the Electoral votes, not the popular vote. For those who do not know what this means, it means each US state has a specific number of votes they “pledge” towards the President elect. In order to reach the majority required to be President, a candidate needs at least 270 votes.

The Electoral votes are based on the population within the state and in some states there are laws that the Electoral votes do not have to go along with the popular vote. Here are 3 examples from the 2016 election:

  • Clinton won Washington; however three Electors cast votes for Colin Powell, one for Faith Spotted Eagle
  • Trump won Texas; however one Elector cast a vote for Ron Paul, another for John Kasich
  • Clinton won Hawaii; however one Elector cast a vote for Bernie Sanders

Electoral vote from (https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/electorl.htm)

Now that we have some basic data, let’s break down the Jewish vote.

Why?

Because I am tired of listening to my Jewish Republican friends boast their man won (in truth most of you did not want, nor expect him to ever get as far as he did, and you could not suffer to vote for Hilary Clinton). Likewise I am frustrated by Democrats that blame other Jews (read as religious ones) for voting for in their words, a tyrannical, fascist, womanizer. I chose the nicer words.

You are both wrong in your assumptions and in the spirit of ואהבת לרעך כמוך “love your neighbor as yourself” I decided to provide you both with food for thought.

The chart below is from the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews and has numbers for 2015 but for our purposes it should be fine. It represents the top 8 cities (7 states) where Jews live in the US. As expected New York is #1, followed by California, then my home state of Florida, with Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland/D.C. completing the rest. New Jersey has over half a million Jews as well but no one city claims them all. You can see more states and details on that page as well.

Hilary Clinton won New York, a place where the largest Jewish population exists, and votes, and she won by 1.5 million votes. Even if every Jew in New York voted for President Trump, he still lost. Jews voted him in? Not in NY. 29 Electoral votes were up for grabs.

Second state, California. Hilary Clinton again won, and by 2.5 million votes. Just like NY even if every Jew in California voted for President Trump, he still lost. Jews voted him in? Not in California either. 55 Electoral votes were up this time.

For those keeping score, that is 29+55 = 84 electoral votes for Clinton, 0 for President Trump, so far.

Let’s visit my home state of Florida. President Trump won Florida by 100,000 votes(with 9.1 million people voting, 4.6m vs 4.5m). If we are to go along with Florida has over 650,000 Jews and they all voted for him, he won. If one keeps in mind that historically Jews have voted for Democrats, as this site shows, 24% in an unofficial poll, voted for President Trump across the US. Taking that number would mean about 156,000 Jews voted for the President with about 500,000 voting for Hilary Clinton. Debatable if the Jewish vote won it for him or not. 29 Electoral votes went to the President this time.

Score 84 to 29 so far. And 1 state that Jews may have influenced the outcome.

Pennsylvania was a close call. President Trump won by about 70,000 votes(2.91m to 2.84M). The nearly 300,000 Jews in Pennsylvania if they all voted for President Trump obviously would be the difference. If we take the 24% unofficial poll would be 72,000 people. Enough to swing it? Maybe in your conspirational alien abductions theory, fake news world. Given about 5.7 million people voted in Pennsylvania and Jews represented about 6% of the vote, again presuming every one voted, some 2.5 million Pennsylvanians outweigh the Jewish vote. President Trump won this state and its 20 Electoral votes.

Updated score 84 to 49 in favor of Hilary Clinton.Maybe a 2nd state was influenced by Jewish Voters.

New Jersey, no major Jewish city, but 525,000 Jews, let’s see what happened. Hilary Clinton won the state by about 500,000 votes. Jews voted? Of course? Did it matter? Nope. 14 Electoral votes for Hilary.

With 5 states showing, Clinton has a 98 to 49 commanding lead over President Trump

Illinois, President Obama’s home state, 250,000 Jews in Chicago alone, about 300,000 in total and let’s look at the data. With a lead of 850,000 votes, Hilary Clinton won Illinois. Even if every Jew voted for President Trump, didn’t matter. 20 Electoral votes were up this time.

Heading into the home stretch, Hilary Clinton leads 118 to 49 over President Trump.And still only 2 states possibly made a difference.

And because you are stubborn enough (both of you) not to believe any of what I have written, let’s look at some more states because after all, Jews elected President Trump, right?

Massachusetts, Red Sox nation, the red hat did not fool you and you voted for Hilary Clinton. She won by 900,000 votes. All 200,000 Jews in Boston and the other almost 100,000 of you could not vote enough to help president Trump win. For such a great state, there is only 11 Electoral votes.

7th inning stretch and Hilary Clinton leads 129 to 49 over president Trump. Keep in mind, these 7 states alone represent over 5 million of the in theory 7 million Jewish voters. And only 2 of them possibly made any difference

To round out the bottom 3 states, let’s now look at Maryland, Texas and Ohio.

Maryland, and I have included the District of Columbia in this one as well, wen to Hilary Clinton. The former by 600,000 votes (2.3m cast), the latter, by 250,000 votes (280,000 cast).  In no way did the Jews vote in President Trump and the Electoral votes of 10 and 3 went to Hilary Clinton.

Score review, 142 to 49, but hang on, the great state of Texas wants to say something now.

Texas went to the president by over 800,000 votes. Jews even if they all voted for Hilary with all of their 160,000 or so votes she would still have lost Texas. On the flip side, given the outcome, it was not the Jews that won it for him. Texas has 38, yes, you read that correctly, 38 Electoral votes.

The big scoreboard does some quick math and shows Hilary still winning, 142 to 87. And still only 2 states possibly made any influence.

Last state to look at, Ohio. President Trump won by over 400,000 votes.  Jewish voters? About 175,000. Again, no matter who they voted for, it would not have changed the outcome. 18 Electoral votes went to the President.

The top 10 states for Jews in America, representing 247 Electoral votes, 5.6 million Jews and shows Hilary Clinton led 142 to 105. And 2 states maybe Jews influenced the election.

One last state, because you will ask about it, Arizona. 11 Electoral votes and who won? President Trump by 70,000 votes. Maybe if the 105,000 or so Jews there all voted for him, he won. I can see this as a win for you. However if we take the 24% unofficial rate of Jews voting Republican, the 25,000 or so votes were not the difference either.

Catching up, but Hilary Clinton still leads 142 to 116. Now we have maybe 3 states for Jewish voting influence.

Georgia? 16 Electoral votes up for grabs and who won? President Trump by 230,000 votes. 130,000 or so Jews could not have made a difference in voting here either.

We finally reached the 270 minimum Electoral votes available if Jews indeed had helped President Trump win, these 12 states would have done it. But no, what we find is Hilary Clinton still leading slightly 142 to 132. And 12 states later only 3 that maybe were influential.

Numbers don’t lie. Of course, the numbers are slightly dated, the 24% is an unofficial number but at the end of the election, while Hilary Clinton won the popular vote, President Trump won the Electoral vote 306 to 232.

In other words about 2/3 of the US states where Jews live in nominal numbers could not, and did not, affect the election at all.

Get over yourselves.

Your man did not win because of you.

Your fellow Jews did not vote him in no matter what you want to claim.

I will leave you with this last piece of information, the 2015 U.S Census data found there were 75.4 million millennials.

Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 in 2016) reported casting 34 million votes last November, a steep rise from the 18.4 million votes they cast in 2008”. (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/31/millennials-and-gen-xers-outvoted-boomers-and-older-generations-in-2016-election/)

40 million students and Millenials did not vote at all. 40 million! They could have voted in Kim Kardasahian, who at 38, would be eligible to be President.

Dwell on that with your friends, spouses and kids instead of hurling horribly misinformed rhetoric at them because 2020 is going to make 2016 look tame.

Details and websites I used for the data include:

http://ajpp.brandeis.edu/aboutestimates.php

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/upshot/election-2016-voting-precinct-maps.html#7.00/41.80/-75.13/5164

http://www.electproject.org/2016g

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-voting-record-in-u-s-presidential-elections

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews

https://www.politico.com/mapdata-2016/2016-election/results/map/president/

https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/electorl.htm

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/31/millennials-and-gen-xers-outvoted-boomers-and-older-generations-in-2016-election/

About the Author
Keith Brooks made Aliyah in 2014 with his wife, 3 kids, and their dog. Keith writes about his Aliyah, Israel and Jewish life in general. Keith advises B2B companies on how to approach their potential clients regarding pricing, marketing and sales pitches. Keith is a MassChallenge Israel mentor and an IBM Champion. Keith is available to speak to your organization as well.
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