Steven Windmueller
Where Jews and Judaism Meet the Political Road!

Reshaping American Jewish Political Behavior: Five Factors

This essay is part of an on-going series of articles focusing on the 2024 political campaign.  In this selection we are exploring some emerging trends among specific voting groups inside the Jewish community.

 The transformation of American Jewish political behavior is being driven by several factors, including these current realities:

  • The impact of October 7th and the new Anti-Zionism
  • The sharp and significant rise in Anti-Semitism
  • Reaction to the Trump Revolution and the Growing Presence of Populism
  • The Progressive Left and Post-Modernist Rhetoric: Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory and Cancel Culture

It remains somewhat unclear how in fact these unfolding events will impact the November 2024 “Jewish vote”.  But what is evident there are present some initial reactions that are likely to influence political behavior moving forward. What are we currently experiencing on the ground in response to these emerging issues?

The Homeless Jewish Voter:

 Even before October 7th, we have been monitoring Jews, some from the ranks of the Democratic Party, others Republican, and some Independents, who are today defining themselves as “Homeless”. Unhappy with both mainstream parties, whether in connection with their choice of candidates, their policy positions, or specific ideological “wings” within both parties, i.e., the Progressives on the left and Christian Nationals/Isolationists on the right.

Some analysts are anticipating a higher than usual appeal of third-party candidates for the 2024 election. This maybe especially the case should there be an attractive “No Labels” Party candidate!

The Dissatisfied Jewish Voter:  

Pollsters and researchers are noting a deep frustration on the part of voters with the state of American politics.  A level of “tiredness” has begun to appear among some voting groups, who are unhappy with political trauma and talk about “sitting this one out”.

The Anyone but Trump Jewish Voter:

 More recently, we are seeing a growing body of Republican Jewish funders who appear to be signaling by their financial commitments a desire to see another Republican standard bearer than Donald Trump to represent the GOP.

Emerging Jewish Voting Classes:

Different actors will be reshaping the Jewish political landscape moving forward. New American Jewish political players will be playing more defining roles in this election cycle.

Among these emerging figures will include the growing influence and power of America’s Orthodox Jews. Among Jews under 30, Orthodox Jews now account for 17%. [1]

Other key constituencies will include Persian, Russian and Israeli American Jewish voters. Based on past elections, these subgroups within the electorate show distinctive political behaviors and preferences.

The Rise of the Jewish Progressive Left:

Some of the recent polls place the “Jewish left” as representing about 8% of the Jewish electorate. We know less about this sector than other constituencies, but in some measure, we believe, that they follow the voting behaviors of “red diaper babies” who were the descendants of Jewish socialists from the early decades of the 20th Century. These voters tended to opt for “left of center” candidates, usually “third party” socialist candidates who reflected their political priorities.


While the 2024 election is some ten months out, voter behavior is being reshaped by the political marketplace and by external events that Jews and others are currently experiencing. As this election cycle unfolds, we will continue to offer commentary on the shifting positions and viewpoints that help to define the American “Jewish vote”.



About the Author
Steven Windmueller, Ph.D. is an Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Prior to coming to HUC, Dr.Windmueller served for ten years as the JCRC Director of the LA Jewish Federation. Between 1973-1985, he was the director of the Greater Albany Jewish Federation (now the Federation of Northeastern New York). He began his career on the staff of the American Jewish Committtee. The author of four books and numerous articles, Steven Windmueller focuses his research and writings on Jewish political behavior, communal trends, and contemporary anti-Semitism.