Political Spin-out from the White House Signing Ceremony
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Political Spin-out from the White House Signing Ceremony

KAHNTENTIONS

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Today’s Abraham Accords signing ceremony was a dramatic and significant move in a movement which could lead to a new alignment in the Middle East. Time will tell how the Israeli Parliament responds and even moreso what the Israeli defense establishment thinks of the fine print yet to be publicized. If the IDF and the Mossad indeed recognize the deal with the UAE as being not damaging to Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region then Netanyahu will have truly pulled off a triumph. If the Bahrain-Israel deal receives a similar response, then this ceremony will have bagged two for the price on one. (N.B. President Jimmy Carter did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his dogged work with Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat on the 1978 Camp David Accords. It is only Donald Trump’s highly exaggerated self-image, which makes him flaunt the idea that he is worthy of the peace prize.)

What is very much worth noting is the impact that this ceremony might have on the presidential election. In light of the data that was reported over the past few days, the maximum Jewish vote that President Trump might receive is projected at just under 30%. The other 70% were predicted  to be rock solid behind former Vice President Biden. The question is whether this peace ceremony can draw some more votes for Trump among the right wing and right of center Jewish voters to make any difference in the key battleground states. The general analysis suggests that this could play in Trump’s favor if the affected voters were in the states of Pennsylvania and Florida which have a significant Jewish population.

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Footnote on Polling

Historically, 90% of all likely voters have their minds up by Labor Day. The entire campaign except for a large-scale October surprise, is over the hearts and minds of the undecided 10%. In reviewing the polling for months, there has been a remarkable consistency in the polling data, especially since the spring. This unusual lack of fluctuation begs the question as to why it has been so consistent, particularly in so many of the battleground states, throughout the summer and the convention season as well.

While there are certainly “undecided” voters, the steadiness of the polling might suggest another factor, which has markedly reduced the undecided to perhaps as low as 3%. American voters today are so polarized that their minds are made up and there is virtually nothing which can shift their vote. It suggests as well that the undecided voter pool this year is much smaller. Alternatively, it could also suggest that a more significant percentage of voters than usual are not disclosing their true feelings to the pollsters. This would generally have come out over the months; especially given the extremely sophisticated pollsters who control for lying voters. If there is a meaningful shift following the first debate, it could suggest that there was a breakthrough, especially if the shift was toward the President.

The one group of voters which might still be in play are the Latino voters. The most recent studies in Florida, Arizona, and Texas have indicated a heightened emergence of pro-Trump voters within the more right-wing Hispanic communities. This would include those whose families came originally from Cuba, Columbia, and Central America, as opposed to those from Mexico as well as Puerto Ricans voting on the mainland, who tend to be much more solidly Democratic. The unknown factor within the Latino communities is the extent to which their Evangelical churches might be driving their voting preference.

 

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