Tuesday, September 30

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Joel Stein, LA Times - If you need proof that this is the most important election in a generation, get this: Jewish grandkids are flying to Florida to visit their grandparents -- without being guilted into it -- to talk their elders out of voting for John McCain. The Jewish Council for Education and Research -- a new pro-Obama political action committee -- is organizing "The Great Schlep," in which hundreds of Jews will make the Southern exodus on Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 10-13. They will travel to the Fort Lauderdale area, where they will visit their grandparents, organize political salons in their condos and eat incredibly bad food. . . More than hockey moms or gun-toting God lovers, old Floridian Jews are the most important demographic in this election. They make up about 5% of the voters in a swing state with 27 electoral college votes. They never miss so much as a condo board vote and are normally reliable Democrats. Barack Obama's trouble winning over older Jewish voters has been difficult for pollsters to explain, so I came here this week to visit my grandmother, Mama Ann, and find out what the hang-up is. After a long discussion about policy, I asked her if the reason she was leaning toward voting for McCain was because Obama is black. She assured me that it was not. Though during dinner, she did casually mention that her grandfather used to express a superstition that if you ate marrow, you'd date a black man. I had no idea that for so many generations, Jews have hated marrow. .

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