What Jewish Voters Had To Say At Presidential Debate Last Night

Oct 23, 2012

The third and final presidential debate took place last night at Lynn University in Boca Raton. President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney sparred over various foreign policy issues, but seemed to agree on one thing: their allegiance to Israel. 

Florida has more Jewish voters than any other swing state – 3.4 percent – and because of strong turnout Jews comprise 8 percent of Florida votes. According to the latest Gallup poll, 70 percent of Jewish voters plan to vote for Obama, compared to 25 percent for Romney, and a study by the American Jewish Committee in early September showed that 7 in 10 Jewish voters in Florida would vote for President Obama.

Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz discussing the Jewish vote at the final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
Credit Deborah Acosta / WLRN / The Miami Herald

"I represent a lot of Jewish voters," said Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. "The ones that I represent overwhelming support the president," said Wasserman-Schultz, whose district includes much of Broward County.

Married couple Norma Kraut and Ron Schacht of Boca Raton were sitting front and center at the Lynn University watch party. They're both Jewish, but they're a split house. Norma is the Republican, and said she's voting for Romney.

"I am very pro-Israel," she said, "but as a woman, I am very pro-choice, and I would actually be much happier to vote for the Romney who was governor of Massachusetts than the Romney who had to agree to the tea party."

Doris Smith, a Jewish voter from Boynton Beach, was volunteering at Lynn University during the third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton. She's voting for President Barack Obama.
Credit Deborah Acosta / WLRN / The Miami Herald

Ron Kraut is voting for Obama, mostly because of social issues, he said.

"He disappointed me, and a lot of people over the last four years, but I still feel that he can better lead us during the next four years," he said.

After the debate, volunteer Doris Smith of Boynton Beach was in the "spin room" -- where politicians congregated for interviews. She wore 17 pins on her T-shirt, one of which read: "I'm Jewish, and I'm voting for Obama/Biden."

"I can never thank him enough for the money I saved on healthcare," she said of President Obama. "This year my husband's drug bills were tremendous, and we did get them cut down beautifully thanks to what is known as Obamacare."