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Exit poll: 80,000 Americans in Israel voted, 85% for Romney, 14% for Obama

According to an iVoteIsrael exit poll, half of the 160,000 eligible U.S. voters living in Israel voted absentee, of which an overwhelming majority selected Republican candidate Mitt Romney. That reportedly includes 7,500 registered in the swing state of Florida.

iVoteIsrael - the campaign that has worked hard to get American citizens living in Israel to vote absentee in next week’s U.S. presidential elections (and which I have been covering here since June and exposed to be a partisan, right-wing, anti-Obama initiative) – held a press conference Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem to announce the results of what they claim is the biggest exit poll of its kind ever conducted among American expats voting in an American election.

The campaign announced that a record number of 80,000 Americans who registered with them voted in this election, of which 85 percent voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, 14 percent for Obama (and 0.6 percent  for “Other”). This is more than double the turnout of the 2008 election, in which a reported 30,000 Americans voted, and the number could even be greater as there are people who voted without using the campaign’s services. According to iVoteIsrael, there are around 160,000 eligible American voters living in Israel, so they are boasting having reached exactly half.

The exit poll is based on a survey the campaign conducted via email asking all those who registered with them who they voted for – of which 1,572 responded, with a 2.5 percent margin of error. The majority of those who voted identify themselves as national religious (47.3 percent), the next in line being ultra-Orthodox (21.9 percent) while only 9.4 percent of voters polled identify as secular.

While it was predictable that a majority of American expats in Israel would vote for Romney as they are known to be predominantly Republican (76 percent voted for McCain in 2008), the most astonishing and significant data is how many of those are registered in key swing states:

According to iVoteIsrael, a whopping 7,500 of those in Israel who voted absentee in the election are registered in Florida and 3,500 in Ohio. In both states, overwhelming majorities voted for Romney.

Since the 2000 Bush-Gore election ultimately came down to only 537 absentee ballots cast in Florida, if iVoteIsrael’s numbers for Florida are indeed accurate and the election is close enough that absentee ballots are counted, they could successfully swing the election in favor of Mitt Romney.

As I reported in the Daily Beast, beyond the blatant partisanship of this self-proclaimed non-partisan campaign, several legal experts have told me the very fact that iVoteIsrael has served as a “ballot broker,” setting up drop-box locations for absentee ballots and mailing them in for voters, could be considered  a violation of U.S. election law, should the government choose to look into it.

Related:
Non-partisan campaign urging Americans in Israel to vote linked to right
WATCH: Campaign video incites against Arab-Americans

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Danny

      Most American Jews who emigrate to Israel are religious and/or Islamophobic (hence their desire to live in a the poster child state for anti-Arab and anti-Muslim discrimination). When all is said and done, no less than 70% of American Jews will end up voting for Obama. American ex-patriots in Israel are the exception to the rule.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        So all USA citizens residing in Israel is divided into patriot expatriates and ex-patriot expatriates.

        Lovely, Danny. Makes things so simple to understand…

        Reply to Comment
    2. aristeides

      Good riddance to them.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Mitchell Cohen

      Gary Johnson 2012 (didn’t get to vote in the end though). It is time for Americans to stop being held hostage to the two (corrupt) main parties, neither of which give a cr*p about the common citizenry.

      Reply to Comment
    4. XYZ

      I am curious as to why 972 views this as a headline item.

      Reply to Comment
    5. XYZ

      After years of reading comments like that of those ‘progressives’ we see here, I now realize that these people are not motivated by any “love of humanity”, but rather endless rage and hate. They don’t care about the Palestinians, or the poor refugees from Eritrea and Sudan, they simply hate Israel and Jews. That is why we don’t see any political reaction to the 36,000 Syrians who have been killed. Doesn’t interest them. A “Rabbi” blogger who daily bashes Israel from the US was asked why he doesn’t say anything about Syria, while day after day he is running around trying to get Christians to boycott Israel. He said “we can’t get involved in Syria”. Well, so much for his “principled” stand on human rights.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Yep. That is exactly what I’ve though this afternoon.

        So-called “progressives” are not in pursue of anything positive/benefiting humanity.

        All they are interested in is someone free/secure to kick.
        Israel is the best indeed.
        One even could come here and protest, not like China where protesters are known to simple disappear.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The progressives are guided by a Utopian ideal of humanity that is so far out of sync with reality that it generates hate and rage for anyone that might question their vision. It fills them up with hate for the world as it is and a rage to change it to be closer to their ideal world. Progressives tend to be universalists and humanists, whereby sovereignty and a desire by any group to not be absorbed into a mass of barely differentiated humanity are both seen as enemies. Israel and Jews, being [for some reason] perceived as being part of the Western world are seen in an even harsher light as traitors to this ideal that progressives claim to be the core of the Western/civilized world. Hence the persistent hate. There really isn’t anything new in this since this hate for Jews and Israel is practically hard-wired into the DNA of humanist and internationalist ideology.

        Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        damn right you are, X. Progressives are motivated by rage – against injustice. And against those who defend it.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Aristeides,
          “Progressives” are motivated only by injustices (disregarding objectiveness of allegations) carried on by Israel.

          Which is why, by the way, your kind is despised by the wide (Israeli) public. Not that it matters.

          A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin, and you are too well known for both lie and flatter.

          Well, keep it on mate. With your help Palestinians will remain stateless for another 3 generations.

          Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            Why do you defend injustice, trespass?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Because these injustices are not as injust as you pretend they are.

            4 – Interests of all population groups (Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian Arabs in exile, Jews in galut) are totally neglected.

            2 – Even greater injustices carried by others are going largely unnoticed by “progressive” public.

            3 – Attempts to really do something useful (ex. remove the rusty car) are extremely rare while everyone is busy by criticizing Israel.
            One of major problems is that video about removing a car is not quite as interesting as one about uprooted trees.

            There are more reasons, but I suppose these will suffice for the meanwhile.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            4 is typo of course.
            Read – 1.

            Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            I see. Trespass is selective about injustice. When committed by Israel, he defends it.

            That is the heart of Zionist thought: Israel comes before justice, before right. And this is why progressives condemn Israel and its apologists. Elsewhere, there might be greater wrong, but nowhere is there a greater defense of wrongdoing.

            It’s really very simple, behind all the sophistry and obfustication. As Socrates condemned the sophists for attempting to make the worse argument defeat the stronger – so the Zionist sophist defends the wrong.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Elsewhere, there might be greater wrong, but nowhere is there a greater offense on supposed wrongdoings (ex. that bloody car – there is no proof that Jews did it) while there is even greater negligence of really important matters such as irrigation of ten million olive trees.

            Socrates also said:
            “A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.”
            and
            “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”

            You are still to realize whatever Socrates did few thousand years ago.

            Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            There is no “relative emotional values” involved. There is injustice.

            Or perhaps I should be Platonic and say, Injustice.

            And you defend it.

            Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        The reason why Syria is less of an issue to Jews than what is going on in Israel/Palestine is that the latter “belongs” to us, while the former does not. Israel purports to represent all Jews all over the world; well, if so, then every Jew has a say about what is purportedly done in their name. Since most Jews hold liberal/progressive views, Israel’s actions vis-a-vis the Palestinians are an anathema to them. In the last few years, Israel itself has started to become an anathema, with more and more people openly questioning its right to exist as a racist, apartheid state. This debate will only continue to grow so long as Israel refuses to abide by international law.

        Reply to Comment
        • Mitchell Cohen

          I find it interesting that when a right-wing government is in power and leftist Jews in the diaspora want to criticize the Israeli government, then “Israel belongs to all Jews, represents all Jews, etc.”, but when a left-wing government is in power and right of center Jews in the diaspora want to criticize the Israeli government, then all of a sudden Israel does NOT belong to all Jews and those diaspora Jews can “keep their opinion to themselves”. What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

          Reply to Comment
      • XYZ,

        One of my closest friends works with female Congolese refugees, and I always love talking to her and sharing ideas – although our areas of work are very different it’s always felt like we’re part of the same jigsaw puzzle. It’s not that I see Palestinian children as more important than women in the DRC, or that she values Congolese women over those kids. There is no competition. It would seem beyond weird if someone asked her, “Why are you constantly writing about these women and agitating against companies that do unethical business in the DRC? What about Somalia, don’t you care about Somalis?” Yet these defensive questions often come up when people talk about Palestine. The rabbi you mention (I assume Brant Rosen, as there aren’t many blogging rabbis involved in BDS) is routinely asked why he doesn’t write about [insert country name here] by people who only mention those places as a means of condemning criticism of Israeli policy. It’s a derailing tactic. How far can it be said to be motivated by love and concern?

        And I agree with you that more love is necessary. It’s the only thing that lets us see that care for a rape victim in the DRC and for a small child in Bethlehem is the same. It’s about recognising that people deserve their dignity, and no one has to go to a war zone for this – we can start by trying to be a little kinder and more forgiving online. The rabbi you mentioned feels that as a Jew, a rabbi, and an American citizen, he has a particularly personal stake in the situation in Israel/Palestine, which is why it takes so much of his time and effort. This doesn’t preclude him from caring about other places. You wrote that you feel rage and hate in other people’s comments, but then you twisted his stance so I couldn’t recognise it – or him. I think it was unintentional on your part, but even so, it wasn’t kind.

        I’m guilty myself here. I can be pretty acidic when I want to be. If we want more lovingness then the logical place to start is with ourselves, where we actually have power – and insider knowledge. For all I know the person whose comment I took as hostile could just be having a really awful day for whatever reason. What does it cost to give them the benefit of the doubt?

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Vicky,
          I’ve asked you tens of [very practical] question, to which you should’ve been able to answer as a person who’s great interest lies in I/P conflict.

          However you’ve had answered hardly even once.

          I just wanted to know whether the lack of answers is due to your lack of knowledge of subjects mentioned of there is another, even greater obstacle?

          p.s. I know that there is no obstacle, simply you nothing to answer.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            you *have of course.

            p.s. so hard typing after drinking tomato juice… or weren’t these tomatoes?

            Reply to Comment
          • I’ve only seen four questions from you to me, listed in one comment on a blog post about olive harvesting: http://972mag.com/the-war-on-the-palestinian-olive-harvest/58726/

            1 – To whom mentioned Palestinians must be equal?
            2 – On what basis?
            3 – Who is responsible for the lack of equality?
            4 – What steps must be taken to restore equality?

            I wasn’t sure I had correctly understood the first two questions, but they seem to be, “Who said Palestinians had to be equal? What for?” If I choose not to answer questions like that, it is not necessarily that I can’t. It may just be that for once I’m not in the mood to debate with someone who doesn’t believe that my host family’s five beautiful kids deserve the same rights as kids on the other side of the wall. I always feel as though I’m insulting them when I get into that conversation. Think about it. How would you feel if online strangers took it upon themselves to debate over whether you deserved equality with the neighbours or not?

            The last two questions both require long answers and are things I’ve already written about a lot here (and I mean a lot). I didn’t see the point of writing yet another essay on them on a mostly unrelated blog post about olive harvesting, especially as I wasn’t sure if you really wanted my answers. Some of the things you’ve written – e.g. “You are not interested in truth” – suggest that you’ve already made up your mind about me and what I think. If you really would like to discuss those questions, I’m happy to give you my e-mail, but only if you drop the assumptions. You are not telepathic and you’ve got no way of knowing what I think or why I do what I do unless I tell you.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Vicky,

            Of course I wanted answers, otherwise I wouldn’t bother to ask questions.
            There were other occasions where my claims remain unanswered… nevermind tho.

            So let’s go through my reasoning… These are not simple questions in any way and explanation of what exactly I’m questioning in necessary.
            1 – Palestinians must be equal to Israelis.
            True.
            Note that I haven’t ever claimed that someone is better – or worse – than another due to their race/religion.

            I equally dislike all religions (except for Zen probably) and most people of all races, so you could call me a true internationalist.

            2 – On what basis? the question is rather vague frankly.

            Obviously there is at least two aspects to equality; I’ll go by Heinlein’s definitions: There is Civilian (aka humanitarian/basic with extensions) rights and Citizen (balloting/voting + system bonuses) rights.
            While former surely must be equal to all, the equality of latter if subject to further (quite multipage) analysis, and possible implications are even more problematic due to numerous historic and social reasons.

            I’ve seen offline strangers in Belgium, France and Germany, Israel and some other countries who were not only debating about equality rights but actually enforcing inequality on local population, so thinking of it wouldn’t touch my heart too much.

            Although you are absolutely right – it’s bad, to say the least. The only problem I have with the issue is that Israel is singled out and discussed and the (only) bad guy.

            Don’t get me wrong – rightists are much worse in their preaching of Israel’s (or any other’s) greatness. Make me nauseous to tell the truth, but not nauseous enough to change my perception of things.

            Third question is rather simple to tell the truth.

            In a democratic world we all happen to live in it is People’s responsibility to declare own independence via elected representatives.

            Palestinians have had world acknowledged representation in League of Nations since 1920′s and ever earlier, however the first proclamation of Palestinian state was carried out only in 1988.
            Who and why delayed that for 68 years?
            Or 40 years after Jews proclaimed own state?

            You can’t claim that Israelis denied Palestinian statehood all these years. Until after 1967 Israel had barely defendable borders, let alone any grade of control of WB and Gaza, so Palestinians have had at least 20 years to became a fully recognized state.

            Of course in 1988 the situation in the field was completely different – de-facto One State Solution was carried out slowly since 1967 and everyone was quite happy about it, however erupted Intifada made One State Solution quite problematic.

            Basically the Palestinian declaration of statehood at one hand secured right of return while at other denied the possibility of integration into one state.

            4…
            Possible solutions are, unless I am gravely outdated is 1SS and 2SS.
            Both are theoretically possible, both have their problems yet indeed this discussion goes well beyond 972mag article’s topic.

            P.S. Even if you tell me what you think I don’t really have a way of knowing what you really do think indeed. The same is applicable to all human beings of course. Eva’s fault, ya know.

            Everything we do – or we are motivated by – is based on some kind of assumption.
            One works hard because he assumes that one day he’ll be sitting on his large deck surrounded by grandchildren, or one assumes that that girl is suitable for whatever purpose, or that girl assumes that the boy is bloody pervert while at the end he became her husband – based on other assumptions and hopes, futile at times.

            p.p.s. So, for beginning let’s assume that we are grown up; responsible; (logically) thinking; (somewhat) educated; english/hebrew/arabic/russian/amharit/french/__________ speaking; open-minded; universalist;________;_________;________;(mark applicable of fill missing) individuals motivated by … hmmm … whatever good for all DNA carriers and other representatives of the food chain.

            p.p.p.s in case I haven’t made myself clear I am interested in constructive off-website dialog because the situation is rather problematic and the time is scarce.

            Reply to Comment
          • I have been observing Vicky’s writing, both here and on her site, and I can say confidently that she is a rare gem of compassion. Her comments are nearly always on the direct harm to those she has encountered. She rarely takes direct stand on the internal politics of Israel or “great” ideological positions, but focuses on the hurt she has absorbed into herself through contact.

            As to me and my “hates,” yes, I hate so much I keep presenting your country’s founding document, its Declaration of Independence. Oh yes, how repulsed I must be by all things Israeli.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Greg,

            Compassion is a great motivator, however its not enough to just walk to get somewhere. You have to know where you are, where do you want to get and what are obstacles on the way.

            Without firm understanding of all three chances that you will reach your destination are nill.

            Ex. Palestinian refugees in Jordan and elsewhere. They’ve been left in refugee camps for 3 generations because someone assumed that Israel is going to be defeated soon.
            A lot of walking has been done. Enormous suffering caused. Trillions of dollars of Israel taxpayers wasted (enough money to build new homes for all Palestinian refugees) and went to pockets certain people.

            And all that why?
            Because:
            1 – Israelis did not realized where they were – they thought that Palestinian Arabs will be resettled by host countries. Surprise surprise.
            2 – Israelis did not set the proper goal of quickest possible resettling refugees question, lost time and ended up with rather unresolvable situation which they’ve only worsened by
            3 – rehabilitating Yasser Arafat.

            Palestinian leadership at their turn
            1 – did not realize where they were – they thought that Israel will be defeated.
            2 – They set wrong goal of ENTIRE Palestine liberation, instead of concentrating on creating nation-state in whatever territory they’ve had and to worsen things they’ve
            3 – resorted to violence.

            One of problems in common perception of current situation, by the way, is to think that everything/most problems in this conflict must be resolved by Israel only.

            Palestinian fractions are hardly ever mentioned while there could not be any peace solution without support of all Palestinians, including Hamas which will have to alter their charter.

            Some of Declaration of Independence article’s implementation – such as written constitution – in on Lieberman’s wishlist.

            Surely you must be his great supporter ;)

            Why are you not by the way? What is so wrong with this guy?

            Reply to Comment
          • Fair enough. You can reach me at vickyinpalestine at gmail dot com, and get all my thoughts on the need to ground the struggle for equality in Palestine in radical feminist political theory. (This will probably make you wish you had never asked.)

            Reply to Comment
    6. Renfro

      Another reason I am against dual citizenship that allows one to keep US citizenship after they accept another ctizenship.
      Having what are, in the case of Israel, essentially people voting for a US President they think would best for their foreign country instead of who would be best for America and Americans is unacceptable to me…and I imagine to any other Americans who are aware of this.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Renfro,
        What makes you think that everyone who votes for Obama thinks it would be best for America and Americans?

        Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        P.S. America is established by citizens of other states.

        I think that you, surely being a child or grandchild of dual citizen, really have no moral right whatsoever – beyond your hypocrisy – to even have a critical view of the dual citizenship issue, let alone expose one on public.

        Reply to Comment
    7. XYZ

      BDS rabbi justified his pre-occupation with Israel and his deemphasis on activity on other, more serious human rights problems on two grounds. (1) As an American citizen, he says that he has a right to single out Israel for criticism because the US gives aid to Israel, and (2) “AS A JEW” he has a special interest in Israel.

      The problem with the first is that “as an American citizen” he certainly can weigh in on things like the the civil war in Syria because the Russians and the Chinese have blocked any attempts to impose a no-fly zone or other attempts to alleviate goverment attacks on the opposition. This is largely due to Obama’s insistence on “multi-lateralism” and belief the UN should define policy. Americans have every right to oppose Obama’s stand on these issues, but the silence is deafening.
      Regarding the second, “progressives” pride themselves on their “univesalism” and their opposition to ethnocentrism and particularism, but suddenly we hear the particularism come to the fore when “progressive” Jews decide to focus on Israel, “as Jews”. This reminds me of the old joke told about “progressive” Jews which says “The Jews are a divinely chosen people whose heavenly-mandated message to humanity is that there is no Deity and the Jews are the same as everyone else”. That pretty much sums up what I observe among “progressive” Jews who bash Israel.

      I am not saying there are not problems in human rights as a consequence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but someone who claims to be a “universalist” and then to ignore the slaughter going on in Syria and to at the same time demand BDS against Israel when there are numerous other countries WITH WORSE HUMAN RIGHTS problems and to ignore them is simply hypocrisy.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mitchell Cohen

        XYZ, I will never forget when ultra-dove write Amos Oz visited Europe and he was confronted by someone from Sweden (or Norway, can’t remember which). Oz was asked by this individual, “why can’t the Jews and Arabs just put their difference aside and form one bi-national state? Do you really need a Jewish state?” Oz responded, “Why can’t Sweden and Norway just unite into one country (which they were at one point)? After all, your cultures are so similar, your languages are so similar, there is a lot more similarity between the Swedish and the Norwegians then there is between the Israelis and the Palestinians, etc.” to which the individual responded, “you obviously don’t understand the Swedes and the Norwegians”. And so it goes, what is good for Israel is not necessarily good for anybody else.

        Reply to Comment
      • I don’t know who you mean when you talk about ‘progressives’, as you seem to use that word as general catchall. I do know Brant, however, and you’ve been unfair by him here. His Judaism is very important to him and so are the people he has come to know in Israel and Palestine. He does have a sense of connection with this place that predates all his activism. (He considered aliyah once.) He may describe himself as having a universalist outlook, but people who hold that outlook still have friends and loved ones and events in their lives that lead them to make particular choices about how they will spend that life. Brant has ended up focusing primarily on Palestine, but this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about Syria, or that he ignores other places. Have you seen the series of blog posts he wrote from Rwanda, about his congregation’s involvement there and their recent visit? He has several interests in social justice, and all of them are informed by Judaism. I’ve had some interesting conversations with him on prayer and theology, and once I made a sloppy generalisation about modern orthodox Jewish interpretation of halacha. Brant corrected me, and even though he doesn’t follow halacha that way himself, it was clear from the trouble he took to explain that he respects those of you who do. I thought of that when I read the joke you quoted. It would be funny in other contexts (he’d probably laugh) but it feels pretty cheap here, especially as you were talking about lashon hara only last week.

        You say that you don’t deny human rights abuses in Palestine, but what do you mean by that? Recently you insisted that settlers can’t be committing violent crimes against Palestinians. The faith you put in the military looks horribly like a denial of what happened to an elderly man beaten to a bloody pulp on a hillside near Yanoun, of children terrified to walk to school because of the men in masks. Denial can also take more subtle forms. A couple of years ago Brant and some of his congregants visited Dheisheh. That visit was quite significant and moving for everyone involved, visitors and hosts both. The visitors went six thousand miles to Dheisheh, while there are people living six miles away in Efrat and forty miles in the suburbs of Tel Aviv who would never dream of setting foot there. I don’t blame anyone for it, because the closest hurts are often the hardest ones to face. But this does mean that you are in no position to be accusing Brant of ignoring or denying anything. We all have too many blind spots to do that to each other.

        Reply to Comment
    8. James

      So a response from 1,572 people to a survey allows us to give percentages on 80,000 votes???

      Reply to Comment
      • David L. Mandel

        You got me started with this question. The numbers are highly suspect. These people voted absentee, which means it’s not at all a true exit poll, traditionally taken right outside the voting booths and therefore a highly accurate sample. And the survey went only to those who registered through what has been exposed as a highly partisan outfit. Surely the respondents would tend to be the ones who identify with them. And how do they even know the 80,000 number, or the numbers registered in particular states? The whole point of this press release was to try to influence U.S. Jews to support Romney, and I’m sorry to see it get so much coverage … and credibility.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Bob

      Do they also vote in Israeli elections? If so, isn’t this voter fraud?

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        Some expats are not Israeli citizens and aren’t eligible to vote in Israeli elections. In their case, it’s only absentee voting, not election fraud.

        In the case of dual citizens, there’s a good case to be made that this is election fraud, but US law allows it. And probably will continue to allow it, as the Lobby wouldn’t like these dual-loylist voters disenfranchised.

        Reply to Comment
      • Mitchell Cohen

        Nope. It’s not election fraud to vote in two different countries’ elections (at least according to American and Israeli law). There are PLENTY of dual American/take your pick citizens who vote in BOTH elections. BTW, Israel doesn’t even have one of the top five highest numbers of American ex-pats. I believe England has the honor of having the highest, Germany is number four, Canada is up there, and so is South Africa. So, no it is not “voter fraud” and it is not unique to Israel.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Alex

      I’d be curious to see how many US citizens living in Israel cast a vote independently, i.e. without using the services of iVoteIsrael (which seemed to me to be totally superfluous given that it amounted to a website which linked you to your state’s absentee registration website, which was pretty easy to use). Was it a significant number? Was the breakdown of Obama/Romney significantly different among this group? If so, why? I wonder if Obama voters chose to stay away from iVoteIsrael because of the hints of partisan partiality…

      Reply to Comment
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