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THE STATE OF TRUTH IN AMERICA: Impeachment reveals voters' views on truth--and much more.

In the November/December 2019 issue, Moment launched the Jewish Political Voices Project, following a group of 30 politically engaged American Jews as they decide whom to support in the 2020 presidential election. Our team of journalists is regularly interviewing two Democrats and one Republican in each often battleground states, gleaning insight into the deepening divisions--and rare spheres of agreement--among Jewish American voters.

At this point in the campaign, the Democratic race remains fluid. Moderate Republicans are still on the fence, and staunch supporters of President Donald Trump are more entrenched than ever. Of course, this hasn't been just any campaign season. Impeachment dominated nearly every conversation: Almost all 30 project participants watched or listened to the impeachment hearings and followed news reports about the findings. But when it comes to Trump's impeachment, the Ukraine scandal and how all of it will affect November's election, our voters came away with remarkably varying conclusions.

Given their differing perceptions of the facts, and the more than 15,000 documented false or misleading statements Trump has made during his presidency so far, we asked the voters: Is honesty a critical factor in deciding which candidate to support? Most of our Democrats argue that it is. "The American people need a leader in whom we can trust once again," says Miriam Laing of Lake Worth, FL. But when it comes to choosing a candidate, she said she only expected him or her to be "as honest as possible for any public figure." Most Republicans surveyed say that all politicians lie. Lou Weiss of Pittsburgh, PA, argues that if honesty were necessary, "I couldn't vote for anyone." Ruth Kantrowitz of Mequon, WI, says "none are honest in either party, but I would prefer rude honesty facing me than backstabbing, smiling candidates." Michael Ginsberg, a Republican from Centerville, VA, says honesty is important to him in a candidate, but "I don't see Trump as different from any of the Democrats in their dishonesty."

Impeachment--and the importance of truth--weren't the only matters in play: Our participants also discussed issues such as the annexation of West Bank territories by Israel and the continuing violence against American Jews.

On the following pages, we introduce ten more of our project participants. We also present a debate between two of our Wisconsin voters on the nature of truth in politics--Kantrowitz, a Republican and staunch Trump supporter, and Hannah Rosenthal, a Madison Democrat who served as President Barack Obama's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism. Stay ahead of the news by checking in and reading ongoing interviews with all 30 project participants, along with analyses of our findings, at momentmag.com/jpvp.

Director: Amy Saltzman

Deputy director: Suzanne Borden

Interviewers: Suzanne Borden, Dan Freedman, Lilly Gelman, Nathan Guttman, Sandra Perlmutter, Amy Saltzman, Francie Schwartz, Stuart Schwartz, Sherry Schweitzer, Charles Wolfson

All Jewish voter population data is from the American Jewish Population Project at Brandeis University's Steinhardt Social Research Institute.

In these pages we are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. These opinions do not represent the views of Moment. They are based on the voters' understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.

Stuart Baum

Age: 22

Location: Detroit, MI

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Senior at Wayne State University, majoring in public affairs with a minor in criminal justice

Jewish denomination: Conservative

Current 2020 choice: Elizabeth Warren

2016 choice: Bernie Sanders in primary; Hillary Clinton in general

News sources: MSNBC, NBC's Meet the Press, CNN, PBS's Off the Record, local news, Facebook and Reddit posts and comments, Vice and Vox YouTube video news, debates, friends

Family: Single. His mother died about five years ago

Baum, who attended Jewish day school growing up, is student government president at Wayne State University and an intern in the Michigan state legislature, where he serves as a community liaison, connecting residents' concerns with legislative priorities. As a member of the LGBTQ community, he would like to see more attention paid to gay rights in the presidential campaign.

What traits matter to you most in a candidate? I'm looking for someone who is aggressive, optimistic and has vision. Someone who wants to try big things even if they're not possible. I don't view politicians' statements as promises; I view them as things they're going to try. As long as they've tried to accomplish something, I don't feel horrible when things don't get done. From growing up in the Obama era and participating in student government, I see that you'll always end up with a compromise position. If you start at a lower position, you're going to compromise even lower. Whereas if you reach higher, you'll compromise but move the ball further.

Is there an issue you are most concerned about? I'm passionate about criminal justice reform. In high school, I was in a credit-recovery program because I took time off when my mom got sick. There were people like me who had difficulty in school for personal reasons, but also a lot of students who had involvement with the law. That awakened me to the importance of criminal justice reform. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I also really value LGBTQ equality.

Which Democratic candidate(s) will give Trump the greatest challenge for re-election? I think that Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders could all galvanize enough of the country to beat Trump. They have wide appeal across different demographics and are inspiring enough to generate the turnout needed to win. I think the general election will be won by turnout more than by converting voters who previously voted for Trump. These candidates appeal to the young voters I know but also potentially multiple other groups.

Do the impeachment proceedings hurt or improve Trump's chances for re-election? I think that they probably hurt his chances because the hearings will likely wear down his less-secure supporters in the middle. However, I don't think that they will have a profound effect since they inspire both parties' bases to turn out.

Michigan

Total Jewish population 116,200

Percent of total population 1.2%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 47%

Republican: 17.1%

Independent: 32.9%

Other: 3%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 47%

Trump: 48%

2018 midterm results Governor

Democrat: 53%

Republican: 44%

Senate

Incumbent Democrat: 52%

Republican: 46%

House

Democrat: 7, Republican: 7

Sandy Mallin

Age: 76

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Party: Republican

Occupation: Philanthropist

Jewish denomination: Conservative

Current 2020 choice: Donald Trump

2016 choice: Initially Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, then Donald Trump News sources: Fox News, One America News, conservative talk radio--Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager

Family: Married; three children in their 50s from her first marriage, and two stepchildren

Mallin worked in Jewish philanthropy for 40 years, including as campaign chair of the Jewish Federation of Nevada and president of the board at Temple Beth Sholom. She is married to Stanley Mallin, 96, who developed and subsequently sold Caesars Palace and Circus Circus on the Las Vegas strip. Together, the couple founded The Sandra and Stanley Mallin Early Childhood Center in Las Vegas.

Why are you supporting Trump? He is a man of his word. He has the same patriotism that I did growing up--revering the military, revering the police. And he is more truthful than the others. He doesn't owe anybody anything. He has an instinct for what is good for America. And he has been good for Israel. He will keep taxes low, protect health care somehow, and he will keep us safe. Sure, the tweets are bizarre, but everyone is doing it now.

Do you believe Trump is honest? On issues that count. His campaign promises are being fulfilled--the economy is great, and our reputation around the world is stronger now. Well, it was at least until the impeachment nonsense started.

Are truthfulness and honesty key qualities for deciding which candidates you support? It's complicated because none of them are truthful. They're all over the place. I don't even know what honesty is anymore. There is no bar for honesty. There's no definition of honesty in politics.

Have the impeachment proceedings hurt or improved Trump's chances for re-election? I think they improved his chances because they exposed what a farce it is. The impeachment inquiries were a blot on our country. Judicial procedures were thrown out. It was just like a banana republic. The effort to impeach Trump started in 2016 and won't end until 2024.

Do you think any of the Democratic candidates had a particularly strong performance in the November debate? Amy Klobuchar! She is the only candidate that appeared to be pro-capitalism.

Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the greatest challenge for re-election? None of them. Their policies are too far out of the mainstream. They will go even further out of the mainstream as they pander to their base.

Nevada

Total Jewish population 76,200

Percent of total population 2.5%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 44.2%

Republican: 20.3%

Independent: 32.8%

Other: 2.8%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 48%

Trump: 46%

2018 midterm results

Governor

Democrat: 49%

Republican: 45%

Senate

Democrat: 50%

Incumbent Republican: 45%

House

Democrat: 3, Republican: 1

Hannah Rosenthal

Age: 68

Location: Madison, WI

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Retired; former president and CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Milwaukee

Jewish denomination: Reform

Current 2020 choice: Cory Booker

2016choice: Hillary Clinton

News sources: The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC

Family: Divorced; two daughters and three grandchildren

Rosenthal originally thought she would follow her father, a 16th-generation rabbi, into the family business. Instead, she became a "professional Jew" and a "professional feminist." Rosenthal has held a range of political and government roles, including Midwest regional director at the Department of Health and Human Services (Clinton administration) and the U.S. State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism (Obama administration).

What do you think about Trump's approach to Israel? I believe with my entire heart that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish country. But I think Israel needs very profound change. I think the religious noose that is around the politics of Israel is extremely dangerous, and Netanyahu talking about one state and disenfranchising the Palestinians means Israel would not be a democratic state. I am strongly for a two-state solution and am worried about having Netanyahu/Trump heading up whatever is going to happen there. Israel is a complicated subject to discuss and reckon with, but it's not hard for me. I'm completely comfortable in my skin, loving Israel, but not liking her right now.

What are the top three issues that concern you most? Health care. I'm one of those stories about how having a sick grandchild can move us all into bankruptcy. [Rosenthal's granddaughter has a rare form of liver cancer, which is now in remission.] I'm also concerned about economic justice and women's rights.

Does the impeachment inquiry hurt or improve Trump's chances for re-election? It hurts his chances. I think most people believe Trump is a crook, narcissist and liar. However, the Republicans are putting their party and power before what is best for the country. But the more information that gets out, the more the people are seeing Trump for who he is.

Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the greatest challenge? Many of them are skilled enough to challenge him effectively. Cory Booker has the temperament and the smarts to take him on, but Buttigieg seems to be able to raise the kind of money that could help him compete. I do think the media is not giving second-tier candidates a fair shake. They keep declaring the top four as the main candidates and hence cover them more. It is way too early for that.

Wisconsin

Total Jewish population 46,400

Percent of total population <1%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 47.3%

Republican: 18.9%

Independent: 31.5%

Other: 2.3%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 47%

Trump: 48%

2018 midterm results Governor

Democrat: 50%

Incumbent Republican: 48%

Senate

Incumbent Democrat: 55%

Republican: 45%

House

Democrat: 3, Republican: 5

Andrew Smith

Age: 57

Location: Columbus, OH

Party: Republican

Occupation: CEO of a family-owned paint and resin company

Jewish denomination: Reform

Current 2020 choice: Not Trump; maybe Joe Biden

2016 choice: Hillary Clinton

News sources: The New YorkTimes, The Wall Street Journal, Columbus Dispatch, The Economist, The Atlantic, Commentary, Fox News, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, local business press

Family: Married; two children

Smith grew up in Maine where he was raised Conservative, "because that's pretty much all we had up there." He is a longtime Republican who can't stand Trump, and he voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. When he married Lavea Brachman, a Democrat, who is also being interviewed for this project, he went to work in his in-laws' paint and resin business in Columbus. He is now CEO.

What personal traits matter to you most in a candidate? Anything but Trump's traits. I never cared for his demeanor. I followed his business career, and he showed a lot of bluster and a lot of BS. During the 2016 primary season, I was just incredulous that people were flocking to him. There's nothing particularly appealing about him to me. I tend to be a conservative in many ways; Trump has never been known as a conservative. I don't think he's particularly principled.

Are truthfulness and honesty key qualities for you in deciding which presidential candidate to support? Yes, although all politicians to some extent dissemble and choose facts selectively.

Did the impeachment hearings change your views about whether or not the president should be impeached? Not really. The hearings were entirely boring and, from what I have gathered, a rather one-sided series of grandstanding media spins that illustrate the absolutely worst traits of our political actors. At the end of the day, an impeachable offense is whatever the Congress says it is. If you do not have a truly bipartisan consensus that the acts the president freely admits he committed warrant removal from office, then impeachment is the wrong course of action.

Do the impeachment proceedings hurt or improve Trump's chances for re-election? They hurt Trump's re-election prospects because the hearings will discredit Trump among voters who otherwise might be persuaded to support him or not support whoever the Democratic candidate will be.

Is there tension in your family about politics? I wouldn't say tension describes it. The election of President Trump and his actions in office have caused my wife great distress. It is a natural instinct to want to comfort and aid someone you love, and because my wife has been inconsolable, it has evoked in me a feeling of resigned helplessness. Other family members, while no fans of the president, have not been nearly as upset.

Ohio

Total Jewish population 161,400

Percent of total population 1.4%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 48.1%

Republican: 18.4%

Independent: 30.7%

Other: 2.8%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 44%

Trump: 52%

2018 midterm results Governor

Democrat: 47%

Republican: 50%

Senate

Incumbent Democrat: 53%

Republican: 47%

House

Democrat: 4, Republican: 12

Stephanie Wudarski

Age: 30

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Clinical social worker

Jewish denomination: Reform

Current 2020 choice: Cory Booker

2016 choice: Hillary Clinton

News sources: The Washington Post, MSNBC, Twitter

Family: Married

Wudarski does not belong to a synagogue but attends High Holy Day services with her family and went to Israel on Birthright. She works for a managed Medicaid company and has a background treating substance use disorders. She was a passionate supporter of Kamala Harris and volunteered for her campaign until Harris dropped out of the race in December.

How did you feel when your candidate, Kamala Harris, dropped out of the race? Sad and angry. The way this historic candidate was critiqued in die media as compared to the white male candidates was--and is--malpractice. For example, 100 Iowan teachers endorsed Kamala, and diere was silence in the media. A few Obama officials endorse Pete Buttigieg and it's a big deal. I also feel resentment toward my fellow Democrats who have thrown their efforts around old white candidates while pretending to care about institutionalized racism and sexism.

What issues do you care about most? Number one is beating Donald Trump. That's the most important thing. Number two is just basic decency and humanity. Number three is health care/criminal justice, which I think are difficult to separate. Especially in the behavioral health world, which I work in, they are so intertwined that you can't really look at one without the other.

Who do you support now that Harris is out? If Harris is picked as someone's vice presidential candidate before the Pennsylvania primary on April 28--and Biden is the only one who could get away with this prior to the nomination--I'm all in for that ticket. If that doesn't happen, my top choices are Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Amy Klobuchar. I think Booker would be a strong challenger to Trump. He can energize the base, he's relatively moderate and his Republican colleagues respect him.

Did the impeachment proceedings hurt or improve Trump's chances for re-election? I do think the proceedings hurt his chances. There is a small percentage of the population that appears to still be persuadable by the facts. Speaking truth and exposing the level of corruption is good for our democracy, if nothing else.

What are your general thoughts on impeachment? It feels like our institutions have finally started to fight back and that there is hope for justice.

Pennsylvania

Total Jewish population 311,500

Percent of total population 2.4%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 55.8%

Republican: 18.4%

Independent: 23%

Other: 2.8%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 48%

Trump: 49%

2018 midterm results Governor

Incumbent Democrat: 58%

Republican: 41%

Senate

Incumbent Democrat: 56%

Republican: 43%

House

Democrat: 9, Republican: 9

Robert Schwebel

Age: 71

Location: Tucson, AZ

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Clinical psychologist

Jewish denomination: Reform

Current 2020 choice: Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

2016 choice: Bernie Sanders in the primary; Hillary Clinton in the general

News sources: The New York Times, The Nation, Moment Magazine, MSNBC, CNN

Family: Married to a non-Jewish woman from Mexico; two sons in their 20s

Schwebel, a clinical psychologist specializing in drug abuse, had his bar mitzvah in Hungary, where his parents were on teaching sabbaticals. He created a drug counseling program focusing on the reasons behind addiction and recently published Leap of Power: Take Control of Alcohol, Drugs, and Your Life. Schwebel is also a human rights activist and has volunteered his time doing intake interviews for immigrants seeking asylum.

Does your Judaism affect your political views? I used to think Jews were all progressive, that as a group we were fighting for minorities and progressive causes. But I think that's changed in my lifetime. I used to feel proud of Jewish progressive leanings, and I don't see that anymore. I have to admit, I like that Bernie Sanders is Jewish, that there's Jewish representation. And I very clearly remember my parents saying to me, "You can be successful in whatever you do, but you have to make a contribution." And I think that's Jewish. I never wanted success or money for its own sake. I want success in order to do good.

Are there any character traits that make a candidate unacceptable to you? I think the current president isn't qualified to run the country. I don't know how much of it is policy and how much of it is a severe psychological disturbance--someone who is totally focused on himself and his personal greed. It's hard to separate the two.

Do you think it's possible for Democrats and Republicans to ever agree on the facts around President Trump's impeachment? I think many Republicans may agree with Democrats about the improper actions. Many want impeachment but are scared to publicly admit it for personal political reasons regarding their own careers. Their intransigency has surprised me. In couples counseling, the biggest challenge is to get individuals to hear their partner's point of view. In training drug counselors, the challenge is to get them to hear the point of view of their client (what they like about drugs, for example). At least in therapy, couples and counselors have a vested interest in working things out.

Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the greatest challenge for re-election? Elizabeth Warren, because she acknowledges that the system is not working for large numbers of people, offers solutions and could hold her own in a debate setting. I favor Bernie Sanders, but I worry that he might be slightly less electable than Elizabeth Warren.

Arizona

Total Jewish population 135,200

Percent of total population 1.9%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 41%

Republican: 22.7%

Independent: 33.9%

Other: 2.3%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 45%

Trump: 50%

2018 midterm results Governor

Democrat: 42%

Incumbent Republican: 56%

Senate

Democrat: 50%

Republican: 48%

House

Democrat: 5, Republican: 4

Michael Ginsberg

Age: 45

Location: Centerville, VA

Party: Republican

Occupation: Attorney in the national security field

Jewish denomination: Reform/Conservative

Current 2020 choice: Undecided

2016 choice: Donald Trump

News sources: National Review, The New York Times columnists, conservative political blog Hot Air

Family: Married; two young children

Ginsberg, an attorney and aerospace engineer, is vice president and deputy general counsel for CACI International, an information technology company that contracts with federal defense and intelligence agencies. He is a leader of the Suburban "Virginia Coalition, which aims to improve Republican standing in suburban communities that have "taken a hit over the last several cycles."

How do you feel about Trump's presidency? I voted for him last time. A big basis of that was I thought he was the lesser of two evils. I was uncomfortable with the notion of a Hillary Clinton presidency. He's done a lot of things that I support. The tax cut made sense, although I would have preferred it coupled with spending cuts. He is generally supportive of our military. He's a mixed bag on foreign policy but is very supportive of Israel. I don't see a Democrat who I could get behind, and I think he's done a decent job. Unless something changes, I will probably vote for him again.

What are your thoughts on impeachment? I think the irony in all of this is that if the Democrats hadn't spent three years bleating non-stop for impeachment, searching for any weapon or scandal at hand to effect it, the American public would be taking this much more seriously and there would be more "persuadables" out there.

Are truthfulness and honesty key qualities for you in deciding which presidential candidate to support? Yes

Do you believe Trump is honest? Not particularly. But I don't see him as any different from any of the Democrats in their dishonesty. So, it's a wash for me.

Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the greatest challenge for re-election? Pete Buttigieg. He papers over his liberal views using his Midwestern roots and calm demeanor.

Is Israel an important issue for you? I'm a very strong supporter of Israel and of the Benjamin Netanyahu government. I think it has done a great job of keeping the country and citizens secure. I worry greatly about the pinprick attacks that they get from Gaza and Hezbollah buildup and the Iranian encroachment in Syria. I have a lot of concerns about Iran and its nuclear program. That worries me a great deal.

Virginia

Total Jewish population 166,200

Percent of total population 1.9%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 48.6%

Republican: 17.7%

Independent: 31.1%

Other: 2.6%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 50%

Trump: 45%

2018 midterm results Governor

n/a

Senate

Incumbent Democrat: 57%

Republican: 41%

House

Democrat: 7, Republican: 4

Miriam Laing

Age: 50

Location: Lake Worth, FL

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Database manager for a nonprofit

Jewish denomination: Reform

Current 2020 choice: Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker

2016 choice: Hillary Clinton

News sources: The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, politicians' Twitter accounts

Family: Married; two children

Laing has spent most of her career working for nonprofit Jewish organizations. An activist since childhood, she is very involved with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and lives just 32 miles from Parkland, Florida. She believes it is important that her children "understand what it means to be involved in your community and to give back and take responsibility."

What issues concern you most right now? My number one priority is common gun-sense laws. I'm looking for a candidate who also makes this a priority and who's willing to work hard to close the background check loopholes. I'm also concerned about women's issues, particularly these last few years. I'm worried that the freedoms I've had will not be the freedoms my daughter may have when she's an adult. Climate and education are concerning issues as well.

Does Israel affect your political views? I have a great love for Israel, and I would consider myself a Zionist, but it's not in the top-three requirements I want to focus on. But if a candidate was anti-Israel, that would not be okay.

You previously indicated that Kamala Harris was your top choice. How do you feel about her dropping out? I am so disappointed. News reports intimate that her campaign was in some disarray, but I think being a black woman worked against her, combined with having to raise crazy amounts of money. I don't think we can underestimate the impact of billionaires jumping into the race. I also believe we have to reckon with the inherent misogyny and racism that is baked into our system. I will continue to support my other two favorites: Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.

Do you believe the candidate(s) you support are honest? Yes, as honest as is possible for any public figure. A certain degree of dishonesty is inevitable in part because candidates are human beings. They want to put their best foot forward and show people only what they want them to see. I think it's very difficult for anyone to say publicly, "I made a mistake and I'm sorry and here's what I've done since to fix it." It leaves them open to criticism from voters and the media. So, it would not surprise me that some dishonesty, even if it's lying by omission, happens in any campaign.

Florida

Total Jewish population 736,300

Percent of total population 3.5%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 48.1%

Republican: 20%

Independent: 29.2%

Other: 2.7%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 48%

Trump: 49%

2018 midterm results Governor

Democrat: 49%

Republican: 50%

Senate

Democrat: 49.9%

Republican: 50.1%

House

Democrat: 13, Republican: 14

Harvey "Svi" Shapiro

Age: 71

Location: Raleigh, NC

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Retired; former professor and department chair of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations at University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Jewish denomination: Belongs to Conservative synagogue

Current 2020 choice: Undecided

2016 choice: Hillary Clinton

News sources: The New YorkTimes, The Guardian, Haaretz, New York Review of Books, BBC World, PBS, MSNBC, CNN

Family: Married, with one daughter

Shapiro grew up in London and lived there until his early 20s. He was very involved in the Zionist socialist movement (Habonim Dror) and lived for a time in Israel with members of the group. He moved to the U.S. to attend graduate school. He is the author or editor of 11 books on educational reform, social change and the moral dimensions of education.

Is Israel an important issue for you? I support Israel's right to exist, but I am very concerned about the settlement policies. I think Israel is becoming an apartheid state. I have family there, and I am very connected to the state, but it is the issue that divides Jews on the left. I'm active in an organization here called Carolina Jews for Justice, and we decided a long time ago that we would not take a position on Israel because people who were allies on everything else went in opposite directions when it came to Israel. We stayed away from Israel politics in order to keep the group functioning.

What personal traits matter to you most right now in picking a candidate for president? They have to be articulate and eloquent and have a record of following through on things that they say they value. I am a little concerned about the issue of age. Everything else being equal, I would prefer somebody who is younger. I think it would be good for the country to have some new faces and new voices. Also, somebody who is clearly inspired by a moral outlook--even a spiritual outlook: somebody who can articulate a vision beyond a series of policy pronouncements.

Who do you think should become the Democratic nominee? I am struggling in my preference between my wish for a truly progressive Democratic candidate (like Warren and Sanders) and those who I think have a better chance to win against Trump. Biden would be the logical choice, but he seems out of touch, slow on his feet and muddled in his responses.

Are truthfulness and honesty key qualities for you in deciding who to support? After the corruption of the Trump era, we will need a return to integrity and a belief in truth and facts. Though I remain undecided, I see the current group of Democratic candidates as reasonably honest and truthful.

North Carolina

Total Jewish population 112,500

Jewish voting population 1.1%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 45.4%

Republican: 20.4%

Independent: 32.2%

Other: 2%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 47%

Trump: 51%

2018 midterm results Governor

n/a

Senate

n/a

House

Democrat: 3, Republican: 10

Janice Weiner

Age: 61

Location: Iowa City, IA

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Retired Foreign Service; elected to City Council in Iowa City on November 5,2019

Jewish denomination: Synagogue is combined Reform/Conservative

Current 2020 choice: Amy Klobuchar

2016 choice: Hillary Clinton

News sources: The New YorkTimes, The Washington Post, NPR; Facebook friends I trust and who post nuanced articles; Democrats at all levels in Iowa.

Family: Never married, raised two adopted daughters, now raising two-year-old granddaughter

Weiner is president-elect of her synagogue, Agudas Achim, and on its safety committee, an area where she gained expertise while in the Foreign Service. She is very active in the Democratic Party, serving as first vice-chair of the Johnson County Democrats (the "bluest county in Iowa") and was recendy elected to the city council in Iowa City. She also serves on the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.

Does religion affect your political views? My moral structure is built around my Judaism. The notion of radical empathy, which I drew from a sermon our rabbi gave; the need to give back; to treat the stranger well, since we were once strangers in a strange land; tikkun olam. Who would be here if immigrants and refugees had all been rejected?

Do you believe the candidate(s) you support are honest? Yes. When people are able to admit they have made a mistake and learned, that is a sign of integrity. The other essential quality I've seen is a huge learning curve on climate change, for example. Politicians have seen the result of catastrophic flooding and understand that climate change is real. I look at the other side of the political spectrum and wonder: How can they sleep at night? How can they deny science and reality?

Since we first interviewed you, your chosen candidate switched from "undecided" to Amy Klobuchar. Why? I have had the honor of seeing most of the candidates in person--in rallies, in small groups and on occasion one-on-one. I want a candidate who has a proven ability to get things done, and someone like Klobuchar, who has gotten more than 100 bills passed, has that work ethic. I want someone who is serious about foreign policy and is a realist. Yes, I believe we have to take big, bold steps on some issues, but government, like it or not, is about the art of compromise.

Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the best chance for re-election? I think a billionaire like Tom Steyer or Michael Bloomberg. When someone can essentially buy their way onto a debate stage and into the polls and kick others off that stage by virtue of the fact that they can own the digital and TV airwaves, that is not democracy. And that, more than anything else I can think of, will turn off Democratic voters. We need to unify the party, register voters and get out the youth, Black, Hispanic and LGBTQA+vote.

Iowa

Total Jewish population 11,600

Percent of total population <1%

Jewish party identification

Democrat: 47.5%

Republican: 17.4%

Independent: 32.9%

Other: 2.2%

2016 presidential results

Clinton: 42%

Trump: 52%

2018 midterm results Governor

Democrat: 48%

Incumbent Republican: 50%

Senate

n/a

House

Democrat: 3, Republican: 1
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