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A Jewish Guide to Super Tuesday

The big day has arrived!

Dan Klein
March 06, 2012
Brutus Buckeye, the Ohio State University mascot.(Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Brutus Buckeye, the Ohio State University mascot.(Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Number of candidates actually contesting: Four.

Their names in a dream you had once: Governor Matti, Speaker Natan, Congressman Raanan and Rick Santorum. Also, Haman.

What is Haman running on? Internet gambling, looser lobbying regulations, Jews.

How awesome would it be if the candidates put on a Purim Spiel? Unbelievably awesome.

Percentage of state populations that are Jewish: Alaska (.9), Georgia (1.3), Idaho (.1), Massachusetts (4.2), North Dakota (.1), Ohio (1.3), Oklahoma (.1), Tennessee (.3), Vermont (.9) and Virginia (1.2).

So how many Jews? Around 684,845, just a little over ten percent of the U.S. Jewish population.

How many delegates: 439.

Jewish Issues? I’m fine; thanks for asking. In the primary, everyone except Ron Paul addressed the AIPAC conference today via satellite (with extensive coverage by Tablet Magazine) where points were awarded for eloquence given that Newt, Mitt, and Rick said little new. Unless Romney makes a gaffe about not knowing the price of cottage cheese, he should be OK with this crowd.

Also look for newly “important” social issues to continue to polarize Jewish community along denominational lines—much as they do the entire country.

Who’s going to win? Newt will win hometown Georgia. Rick will likely win Oklahoma, Tennessee and Ohio, but his lead in the polls has narrowed. Mitt will win Massachusetts, Alaska, Vermont and Virginia (where Santorum and Newt aren’t even on the ballot) and Ohio. North Dakota and Idaho, both of which have caucuses, are a bit harder to call thanks to their idiosyncratic natures: Idaho has a lot of Catholics and Mormons while North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

You said Ohio twice: Good eye. Santorum is likely to win the popular vote in Ohio, but unfortunately he failed to qualify in several voting districts which means before a single ballot is cast he already lost 18 of Ohio’s 66 delegates. Them’s the breaks.

Do they matter? Ohio does. Santorum needs a win here if he’s going to keep winning states. Ohio is respected as a national barometer state with a lot of delegates to boot. It’s a way more impressive win to Republicans than Mitt winning Massachusetts or uncontested Virginia, and he needs Ohio to prove electability and recover from his demoralizing Michigan loss. Even if he wins, it’ll still be something of a pyrrhic victory. Tennessee would be a nice get for Romney as it is an interior state that’s unemployment rate recently fell below the national average.

Finally: Turns out there’s more than one branch of government, and they have elections too. Look for Jewish Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel to win the Republican nomination to join the sadly diminished Senate Minyan. More on him later.

Ron Paul? Did you see him grill Ben Bernanke the other day? It was pretty funny.

Remember when Marc picked Newt Gingrich to win the nomination? Ha! I do.

Remember when you picked Herman Cain? Shush.

What’s next? March 10 caucuses in Kansas, Virgin Islands and Wyoming.

So, not so Jewish: Yes.