WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Behind The Scenes: The Jewish Leaders Who Really Won & Lost In Yesterday’s Election

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By now, we know who won and lost 99% of the races in New York yesterday. However, behind the scenes during each election year there is another race – for power, privilege and bragging rights by Jewish politicians and community leaders who do their best to move votes in their respective communities for their favored candidates. While the rest of the world believes in the mythical Jewish bloc vote, we at Jewish Politics know better. There is no one Jewish constituency but rather many competing factions. The list below examines for the first time ever the winners and losers of this very inside game.

Winners

Village of Kiryas Joel
Even former President Bill Clinton called the village to solicit their support for his preferred Congressional candidate. It didn’t help. The sophisticated village decided to endorse Republican Candidate for Congress Nan Hayworth, Democratic Candidate for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Senator Bill Larkin. All of their candidates won big victories inside and outside of KJ. 
Bottom Line: Trifecta of victories keeps KJ as top Chasidic power player.
 
Brooklyn’s Sephardic Community
Proving that they are one of the few remaining bloc votes in Brooklyn, the Sephardic community won an astounding 80% for Dan Donovan in their precincts. Insiders say that the Sephardim chose this race to demonstrate that they can move votes. They succeeded: 80/20 is a higher margin than any other Jewish group managed to secure for their endorsed candidate in New York City.
Bottom Line: Donovan may have lost but the Sephardim won big.
 
Senator Eric Schneiderman
With the diminishment of Shelly Silver, Schneiderman is now the big Jew on the Albany campus. As Spitzer and Cuomo both proved, the job of Attorney General means that the world is now Schneiderman’s oyster (he doesn’t keep kosher, so we felt the analogy apt). What he will run for next is anyone’s guess. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if he challenges fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand for US Senate in 2012.
Bottom Line: Schneiderman is the rising liberal star of New York’s Democratic Party.
 
Boro Park’s Chasidic Community
It took some time, but the Chasidic community of Boro Park finally came together to agree on one-thing: Dan Donovan for District Attorney. Even though Donovan lost the state-wide race, he swept Boro Park 70/30, proving that if they stick together (an admittedly tough task) the disparate Chasidic communities of Boro Park can do anything.
Bottom Line: Chasidim still have juice in Boro Park.
 
Yoseph Hayon
This first time candidate got outspent 100-1 and managed to win 43% of the vote against ten-year incumbent Steven Cymbrowitz. Count that as a victory in our book. Mr. Hayon has now earned the right to the Jewish community’s support in another challenge to Steve Cymbrowitz in two years.
Bottom Line: Next time, with a little more money, experience and institutional support Hayon will likely beat Cymbrowitz.
 
Losers:

Anthony Weiner:
This mayor wannabe, may want to shore up the votes in his own district. It’s tough to convince millions of New Yorkers to vote for you when you can’t win big in your own ‘hood. Weiner had to pull out all the stops to win this race but despite having a former President and millions of dollars on his side, he failed to break 60% in this moderate district.
Bottom line: Weiner should pay less attention to MSNBC and more attention to MIDWOOD.
 
Mike Bloomberg
His two most important state-wide candidates Dan Donovan & Harry Wilson both suffered defeats at the polls. Coming after his smallish victory over Billy Thompson last year, this portends the end of an era for New York’s once most powerful and richest man.
Bottom Line: You can’t run for president if you can’t win in your own backyard.
 
Agudath Israel of America
Once the most powerful Jewish group in America, Agudath Israel has lost its influence in the only area that really matters to politicians: moving votes. Sure, Agudath Israel can bring all the State’s politicians into a room the Sunday before Election Day, but politicians are increasingly realizing that Agudath Israel can’t bring actual voters to the polls on Election Day itself. In fact, Agudath Israel had to back-track on its lay leaders’ initial endorsement of Senator Eric Schneiderman when they realized that most Jewish groups who actually move votes were supporting Donovan.
Bottom Line: Individual Jewish communities are deciding on their own who to support and don’t look to Agudath Israel for guidance any more.
 
Chuck Schumer
For all his money, power and fame, Chuck won only a few more votes than his freshman colleague Kirsten Gillibrand. Never mind bragging rights, Chuck’s best chance at being the first Jewish majority leader seemed to fade yesterday as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beat back a spirited challenge from a Tea Party candidate in Nevada.
Bottom Line: Schumer helped his close friend Reid win re-election, but ironically that may have cost him his dream of running the US Senate.
 
Dov Hikind
Hikind has a unique ability to endorse winning candidates who then go on to lose his district. For example, Hikind supported fellow Democrat Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman won the race, but lost 3-1 in his district. This ability seems to apply to Republicans, as well. Hikind endorsed successful congressional candidate Mike Grimm. However, Grimm lost the Jewish vote to Democrat Mike McMahon. Worst of all, this seems to apply to Hikind himself. Yesterday, Hikind ran against a no-name Republican who spent only $400 yet managed to garner nearly 40% of the vote. To put this in context, Hikind’s Democratic neighbor, Alec Brook-Krasny, won 85% of his vote in a comparable race.
Bottom line: Unless Hikind figures out how to move votes fast, he will be vulnerable to a challenge from a young Chasidic Jew in 2012.

Jewish Politics is an opinion column by veteran political strategist Daniel Miller. The views expressed here are Mr. Miller’s and are not necessarily those of Yeshiva World News.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. I am glad to see that the tzibbur came out for Dan Donovan. Eric Schneiderman is a far left activist attorney. Nothing else. He even made it clear that he would give Al Sharpton an office in Albany.

    I am sad to say this, but I think that the NYS GOP is broken and it really needs to be repaired by people with the prowess and money necessary to contend politically in a state that is extremely Democrat. I also applaud the Kiryas Yoel community for supporting Dr. Hayworth, someone I believe has the potential to emerge as a great leader in the GOP due to her appeal to both Tea Party-types, as well as to social moderates. The fact that Donovan and Harry Wilson did much better than the GOP Senate candidates says something. Had I been in the reins of the GOP, I would have pushed Giuliani to challenge Gilibrand, and I would have put in Rick Lazio. Sadly, solid, electable, pragmatic candidates lost to the adverse showmanship of people like Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Carl Paladino. Not that I find anything wrong with their positions, BUT the way in which these individuals comported themselves was an embarrassment and damaged the GOP. A politician must be sane and toned down, not come off as crazy. Rand Paul, MD, came across as someone with strong principles. but he was a great speaker and presented the Tea Party message with a sense of confidence and finesse that the others lacked.

    My hopes are now for 2012. I believe that we stand a chance in Delaware, IF we get Mike Csstle to run there. We also stand a firm chance of claiming DNC seats in ND, MT, NE, and MO, and need to focus on keeping MA for Scott Brown, and also on getting Rudy to run for Gilibrand’s seat. We also need to win FL, OH, and WI, and could also win Michigan and Pennsylvania if we play our cards right.

    We saw last night that for victory in the Senate, we need more palatable, moderate candidates who can seriously contend and appeal to the voters as a whole and who can raise serious money.

  2. How do we know how many Jewish votes McMahon got in relation to Grimm? From what has been reported, Grimm has the firm support of the tzibbur in Staten Island. I do not think in Brooklyn, NY-13 includes too many Jewish areas (Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights). McMahon’s campaign also perpetuated anti-semitic stereotypes surrounding “Jewish Money” and is lukewarm on supporting Israel. Good riddance to him, and let us congratulate Mr. Grimm, a friend of Klal Yisroel, who has even garnered audiences and brachas from R’ Pinto in Manhattan. McMahon lacks this ahavas yisroel.

  3. Schumer did better the last time he won for senate. He lost about 10% of his voters from the last time, but he is still a kingpin in NYS, for better or for worse.

  4. I would be ecstatic to see a strong Republican yingerman take on Hikind. I should also point out that while they didn’t do so well, due to the goyishe make-up of their districts, Avrohom Rosenberg and Menachem Raitport ran decent races for State Senate and Assembly, respectively, as Republican/Conservative Party line frum candidates.

    When people accuse the GOP of lacking diversity, I believe that they need to look at who runs in GOP primaries and general elections. The problem is that Jewish, Black, Arab, Hispanic, and Asian Republicans run in elections in areas where the Democrats rule the roost- NYC, Chicago, etc.

    32 Black Republicans ran for Congress this year, with a few losing the primary to less conservative whites in Southern areas, and here in NYC, you had Black Republicans challenging people like Adams (his challenger was Samuel Benoit, a Haitian GOP leader), and you had people like Khorshed Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi GOP leader, and Mohsen Elsayed, an Iraqi civic leader, run for office as Republicans. The GOP did see some minority candidates win big last night, like Gov. Nikki Haley (Indian), Rep. Allen West, Rep. Tim Scott, Gov. Sandoval, Rep. Flores, Gov. Martinez of NM, etc., however, many more of these candidates lost because they are from heavily Democratic urban areas, like Rev. Faulkner in Harlem, Charles Lollard in Maryland, Ryan Frazier in Colorado, and Rev. Isaac Hayes in Chicago.

    The GOP needs leaders from all demographic groups to run. Entrepreneurship, small government, and individual freedom are for ALL Americans, and I think that we are starting to see a shift in this direction.

    I implore people like Rosenberg, Mendy Raitport, Yosef Hayon, Moshe Starkman from MD, Nachama Soloveichik (Rav Ahron’s granddaughter and Pat Toomey;s campaign chair), Joel Pollak in Chicago, Roger Katz in Maine, Randy Altschuler from Long Island, Dr. Neil Cohen in Maryland, and others to keep up the good fight.

  5. YOU LEFT OUT RABBI YEHUDA LEVIN.

    He won big, having achieved great influence worldwide with social issues conservatives, who heard of the speech he wrote for Paladino, attacking Toeva marriage.

    He is now an international family values hero.

    Moderators Response: Good point! We will pass that along. Just not sure if he belongs in the winner, or loser category….

  6. Maybe Hikind only got 60% of the vote becuse of the hate shown on this website. This Hikind bashing is deplorable. Enough. Stop the loshon horah the hating. There are so many things wrong that need to be fixed yet we are fixated solely on Hikind. Greenfield is a gem we know that but this hikind stuff is not even political it’s personal.

  7. “Avrohom Rosenberg and Menachem Raitport ran decent races for State Senate and Assembly, respectively,”

    Even more eye opening. Rosenberg pulled down 27% of the vote on a $1000 campaign budget (he was in my sons yeshiva this past sunday collecting some last little bit for his campaign, he raised about $95), running a campaign that was primarily a school project. Incumbents will clearly get the message, that being elected is not an entitlement. If you dont do what your constituents want, they will get rid of you. the political machine, doesnt have much steam left in a lot of neighborhoods.

  8. who is “veteran political strategist Daniel Miller”. If he is such a veteran how come I never heard of him and where did he do his previous stints.

  9. What’s the difference who he is? He is a writer. have you ever questioned who the writers of Politico are?
    The answer is no. You haven’t.

    I’d like to know who Yeruchim Silber is that sent out a mass email yesterday endorsing Hikind?

    Who made him a “deya zugger” now?

  10. Dear Mr. Miller, in your artice yesterday (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=74077), you predicted that Avrahom Rosenberg has a 1 in 100,00 chance of winning. while he did not win, he got a whopping 27 percent of the vote. You haven’t even mentioned him in this article. What’s going on? Is that no win?

    I can tell you that Mr. Rosenberg plans on running again in two years. A direct quote from a phone conversation with Avi this morning : “I’m still young and I can do it [run] again. I plan on it.”

    By the way, according to NY1.com, Avi Rosenberg (8,003 votes) got more votes than Yoseph Hayon (5,746 votes). While it’s relative to the number of voters in each race and district, it’s an interesting point. Mr. Hayon and Mr. Rosenberg were campaigning together.

    I wish them both luck in whatever they decide to do.

  11. Wish you’d expanded how we voted to include areas outside of KY and Brooklyn. How did KGH, 5 Towns/Far Rockaway and Monsey vote? I know who I did and didn’t vote for, but haven’t seen district results yet. After all, some of us are not Chassidic and do live outside of Bklyn.

  12. I should also note that Fran Becker won. While he is not a yid, he did earn the brachos of a choshuve rov in Vishnitz, and this is significant in and of itself.

    In Queens, a yid ran for Congress named Asher Taub as a Republican. I am unusre how he did, but he did lose his election.

  13. To Halo Yeled

    The reason I asked is because I have asked many people involved in politics for a long time and no one ever heard of a strategist named Daniel Miller. Which leads me to believe it is not his real name.In fact I googled Daniel Miller and there are many of them, but none seem to be political strategists. And so I ask the person claiming to be Daniel Miller,when you are calling people and organizations “winners and losers”, you should have the courage to use your real name.

  14. Kiryas Yoel was not a winner. Any way you look at it, if Bill Clinton who him and his wife have done more for Kiryas Yoel then any where else, ask Kiryas Yoel to vote one way, and they vote the other causing the candidate to lose. That is not a win. The Clintons don’t forget so easily. They did more harm then good.

  15. #16,

    Fran Becker lost 53-47. That used to be a Republican district until the Republicans refused to support gun control.

    Asher Taub lost 85-15.

  16. 27% of the vote is not what serious candidates get.

    Regarding future plans, all the district lines will be redrawn for the next elections.

  17. CharlieHall – 27% is 8,003 people.That’s 8,003 time the number of people that you are. Carl Paladino got only 8 percent more than that.

    Besides, it’s a better percentage than some adults got. Give credit where credit is due.

  18. Charlie. A 27 year old college freshmen who runs for office as a class project and is forced onto the conservative column because the republican party won’t let him, they’d rather kruger ran unapposed, and gets 27% of the vote says that 27% of the voters are telling kruger they are unhappy with him. They may have not voted altogether in previous elections but given a choice, sent a message. I don’t know for certain, but I’m almost positive kruger has run unapposed for several election cycles now and has routinely pulled down all the votes.

    But your right, with redistricting, things will look different. My neighnorhood has been gerrymandered and cut in so many way that the people one block north of me are in a different districe as are people one block east.

  19. 27,

    Talk about gerrymandering — the Republicans cut Riverdale up into three State Senate districts in order to make one of them elect a Republican. Unfortunately for them, the Republican they were trying to protect was a crook (he served time in prison for corruption) and even that seat is now held by a Democrat.

  20. Sorry charliehall, but it is the democrat dominated Assembly that gerrymandered Riverdale along with the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and Flatbush.

  21. Charlie, 27% is quite respectable for anyone other than a fat cat or high-profile nominee.

    I think even 20% is also indicative of a serious candidate given that the 20% in question equates to well over 6,000 people. You’re not getting that from (only) your local Young Israel but from significant wide-spread support.

  22. “Stop the loshon horah the hating.”
    “Greenfield is a gem we know that but this hikind stuff is not even political it’s personal.”

    #7. I have not seen anything personal against Hikind. Sarcastically saying Greenfield is a gem is Loshon Horah.

  23. #30 Your Sister,

    Wrong. The Assembly (Democratic) wrote only its districts in order to protect its incumbents and put Riverdale in one district, now represented by Jeffrey Dinowitz. The Senate (Republican) wrote only its districts and split Riverdale into three in order to protect its incumbents, including now-convicted felon Guy Velella who represented the northern part of the community. Velella’s district is now represented by Jeffrey Klein, a Jewish Democrat, and the other two districts will be represented in the next Senate by Gustavo Rivera and Adriano Espaillat, both Hispanic Democrats.

    Hopefully we will get fair redistricting this year, but I doubt it as a fair redistricting will cost the Republicans three to six seats in the Senate depending on how great were the population losses in upstate Republican areas.

  24. The fact is Mr. Rosenberg got 27% which is one of the top 5 results of the GOP and Conservative parry candidates and top 6 including the democratic candidates, based on
    NY1 election results. He Was the top scorer in the Conservative parry races abroad. HE was top 21 in all of the NY1 results of all candidates for public Office. So tell me MR. Miller How do you Explain that if he had a 1 in 100,000 chance of winning. How is he not a winner.