When the nuclear deal with Iran was first announced, a number of right-wing media sources gleefully speculated that it would hurt Hillary Clinton — for example —
Republicans want to yoke Mrs. Clinton to the Iran deal, betting that voters—particularly those in the normally Democratic Jewish community—will see the accord as a capitulation that in the end will lead to Iran getting nuclear weapons. Exit polls show that Mr. Obama won 69% of the Jewish vote in 2012, which was 10 percentage points less than Al Gore’s share in 2000, according to the Pew Research Center.
WSJ has been seeing “cracks” in the Jewish-Democratic alliance for months. Whether there are any cracks other than in WSJ’s head I cannot say. But even before the agreement was announced, polls showed that American Jews were more likely than other Americans to want an agreement with Iran. I suspect American Jews on the whole are better informed about Iran than other Americans and have a few clues about what’s at stake.
I haven’t seen any post-agreement polls that call out Jewish opinion specifically. Jewish-American organizations are lining up on both sides of the issue, along expected lines, but whether that will change the minds of Jewish-American voters remains to be seen.
An ABC News / Washington Post poll taken last week shows the American public supporting the agreement, 56 percent to 37 percent. A large part of the people supporting the agreement are skeptical it will work, but want to give it a try, anyway. For the record, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have all expressed support for the deal.
However, I wrote a few days ago, Republican politicians are stumbling all over themselves competing for Biggest Trash Talker of the Iran Deal. This week’s award for Most Reckless Trash Talker possibly goes to Scott Walker, who not only has promised to end the deal on his first day in office, but said that he may have to take military action on his first day in office. Greg Sargent writes,
A dispute has erupted between Scott Walker and Jeb Bush over how to handle the task of undoing Obama’s Iran deal as president, with Bush hinting that Walker is approaching the issue with a lack of maturity, and Walker suggesting that Bush is not zealous enough about confronting the enemy.
Walker is also saying that it’s “very possible” the next president will have to take military action on Day One of his presidency — though it’s unclear whether he means against Iran in particular, or more generally.
The argument says a lot about the two candidates’ differing calculations with regard to the level of nuance GOP primary voters are prepared to entertain about the Iran deal, and more broadly, about foreign policy in general.
Foreign policy experts (the non-Zionist ones anyway) are fairly unanimous that the deal could prevent war and a nuclear-armed Iran, whereas no deal would likely either lead to war or a nuclear-armed Iran. And I really don’t think the American people on the whole are in the mood for starting more wars or electing some guy who thinks he may have to declare war as soon as he takes his hand off the Bible on inauguration day.
Barring unforeseeable developments, I don’t see the deal hurting Dems, including HRC. It could easily hurt Republicans, though.