Ben Smith of the Politico looked at the impact of the Jewish vote with Senator John McCain's selection of Governor Sarah Palin noting:
Barack Obama has struggled for 18 months to lock down the support of a traditionally Democratic group, Jewish voters.
In the past week, John McCain may have helped Obama with his Jewish problem by choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
McCain and Obama are battling over a portion of the Jewish community: older, conservative Democrats, largely in South Florida, some of whom backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. McCain’s secular, hawkish credentials appeal to many in that group, who are skeptical of Obama’s relatively short record and have been deluged with rumors about his pro-Palestinian leanings.
But Democrats hope Palin’s social conservatism, her paper-thin record on Israel, and — perhaps most importantly — her cultural roots in evangelical Christianity may be a major turnoff to Jewish voters, just as Republicans have tried to reach women disappointed that Obama didn’t choose Hillary Clinton.
Democrats have already begun to to capitalize on the choice of Palin — over Jewish Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman — in South Florida and elsewhere. A prominent Obama backer, Florida Rep. Robert Wexler, has attacked Palin for appearing at a 1999 event with Pat Buchanan — who has attacked the influence of the Israeli lobby in America. And the same factors that are rallying the evangelical base to Palin may push away the Jews.