If elected, Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish president to move into the White House. While some people may feel that Sanders’ religion could play a crucial role when it comes to foreign policy, others wonder if having a Jewish candidate for president would sway voters one way or another. According to CNN, there is also some concern about whether or not Muslim-Americans would head to the polls and vote for Sanders, or if a Sanders nomination would ultimately hurt the Democratic parties chances of victory overall.
“There is no way to know exactly how much support Sanders had among Muslim voters specifically, but Sanders’ strong showing in an area with a high concentration of Arab American voters bucked an assumption some media commentators had about Muslim voters and Jewish candidates.”
Bernie Sanders’ Jewish heritage has not stopped Muslims from voting for him, polls show. In fact, about 40 percent of the Arab community in Dearborn, Michigan, voted for Sanders. That statistic alone seems to prove that Muslim-Americans are voting for a candidate’s policies in 2016.
“I think this is testimony against stereotypes that Muslims are anti-Semitic. Muslim Americans are voting for policies,” said Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “[Sanders’] voice is consistent and credible for many younger Muslim voters.”
Muslim Americans for Sanders… https://t.co/RqwbqrtxDj pic.twitter.com/ND75zr2UVx
— Bernie Sanders fans (@SenSanews24) March 12, 2016
Interestingly enough, the Muslim-American community wouldn’t be able to sway the vote one way or the other. It is estimated that Muslims make up only 1 percent of the population. However, over 70 percent of them vote democrat — and it sounds like a good percentage of those voters are “feeling the Bern.”
Bernie Sanders being Jewish seems less of a concern for most people (especially for those who are more worried that his politics lean a little too much toward socialism). According to the Huffington Post, Bernie Sanders’ beliefs may be overlooked by many because he says that he isn’t “super religious.”
“Religion is always examined more closely for a candidate who triumphantly wears his religion on his sleeve, after all. Perhaps it’s because Bernie’s not some sort of uber-hawk on Israel, the way Lieberman has always been. Perhaps it’s because America has become much more tolerant towards Jews over the past few decades in general.”
Perhaps Bernie Sanders’ religion isn’t being fussed about because he isn’t the nominated democratic candidate, but it’s certainly something that people will think about if and when that happens. Regardless of how people feel about religion, Bernie would be the first Jewish president — and that’s something different. While some would completely support it, others will undoubtedly see it has “horrible” according to Chris Weigant, political commentator for the Huffington Post.
“A Jewish president would be seen with delight by some — the same sort of delight many Americans felt after electing the first African-American candidate. Bernie as first Jewish president might be seen as horrible by the anti-Semitic and otherwise bigoted. It may also be seen as horrific by Zionist Jews, who would likely see Bernie as insufficiently supportive of Israel. But whatever the reaction, it should at least be a subject for discussion in the electorate. So far, it hasn’t been to any noticeable extent.”
— CNN (@CNN) March 14, 2016
Do you think Bernie Sanders’ Jewish upbringing will ultimately help or hurt him in the polls? Or do you think that his religion holds no weight on how people will vote? Sound off in the comments below.
[Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images]