Gregory: 'Republicans Have Been Talking About' Getting the Jewish Vote for Years - 'It Never Happens'

NBC's David Gregory clearly isn't hearing any alarm bells from what happened in New York's ninth Congressional district Tuesday.

When Republican strategist Alex Castellanos mentioned Sunday that Jews believe President Obama is more pro-Palistiniaan than pro-Israel, the "Meet the Press" host responded, "Republicans have been talking about the Jewish vote going Republican for a long time. It never happens" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: What you're also seeing on the Republican side, Alex, is a special election.


MR. GREGORY: Anthony Weiner's district that went to a Republican, and the back and forth, whether you can nationalize these results. What do you take away from that?

MR. CASTELLANOS: Interesting, two special elections. The one in Nevada tells you something. This was an election that a district that McCain won by 88 votes, a Republicans just won it by 20 percent. Those are numbers like Virginia where--elected Republican governor, like in New Jersey where Chris Christie won, where Scott Brown won. Again, that's kind of a seismic shift. And in New York, President Obama was a huge factor and so was the economy. About 40 percent of the voters there said that their vote was a vote to send Obama a message. Some of them were Republicans, but some were Democrats trying to help their president and save their president and tell him he needs to get going on the economy. But the big news here is that there's trouble now for Obama within his base. His base, he has economic concerns, but now he also has foreign policy concerns. Jewish voters are concerned that he is, I think, 15 to 45 more pro-Palestinian than he is pro-Israeli.

MR. GREGORY: Right. But Republicans have been talking...

MR. CASTELLANOS: In that district.

MR. GREGORY: ...about the Jewish vote going to Republicans for a long time. It never happens. So that may be...(unintelligible). I want to talk about Rick Perry, however.

MR. CASTELLANOS: Until last--until this week.

MR. GREGORY: Yeah, well, we'll see.


Actually, we just did. As the American Thinker's Richard Baehr noted Sunday:

Since voters do not register their religion and ballots are secret, estimates of how Jews voted on Tuesday is guesswork. The Brooklyn section of the district, which is estimated to have a higher Jewish percentage and a higher Orthodox Jewish percentage than the district as a whole, voted about 2 to 1 for Turner, while Weprin won a much smaller majority (about 5%) in the larger Queens portion of the district. Overall, it appears that Turner may have won a small majority of all Jewish voters.

So much for "It never happens."

Gregory must have also missed this piece at Politico Friday:

President Barack Obama’s support among Jews has dropped, new data shows.

Four out of 10 Jewish Americans currently disapprove of Obama, according to polling data provided to POLITICO by Gallup, which has yet to post the numbers on its website.

This 40 percent disapproval rating is 8 percent higher than the 32 percent disapproval rating among Jewish Americans that was last reported by Gallup in June.

While Obama still remains popular with Jews, the data, from a poll conducted Aug. 1-Sept.14, is the latest concrete indication that the president is facing worsening problems among a key group.

Even someone like CNN's Jack Cafferty heard the warning bells publishing the following at his blog Thursday:

The Democrats' loss in New York's special congressional election this week could signal serious trouble for Obama and the Jewish vote in 2012.

District 9, made up of parts of Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most Jewish in the nation. And many believe that if the Democrats lost there, Obama could be in jeopardy in key states like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's nearly impossible to win a presidential election without those states.

The problem is, a lot of American Jews feel neglected by this president and think he has been too tough on Israel.

Apparently, none of that matters to Gregory. As far as he's concerned, Obama's got the Jewish vote in the bag.

Yeah, well, we'll see.

Meet the Press NBC Video Bob Turner Alex Castellanos
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