Israel stop a boost to Marco Rubio’s foreign policy profile

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Exit polls found that evangelical and born-again Christian voters backed GOP nominee Mitt Romney, a Mormon, by a 78 percent to 21 percent margin over Mr. Obama in the 2012 election.

Mr. Romney made a concentrated effort to cast Mr. Obama as reluctant supporter of Israel, blasting the way he handled the Middle East peace process and accusing him of appeasing, rather than confronting, the Iranians over their disputed nuclear program.

Mr. Bard said the steadfast GOP support for Israel is somewhat ironic given that Jewish voters tend to vote for Democrats.

The average Democrat in presidential races since 1916 has received 71 percent of the Jewish vote, while the average Republican received 24 percent of the vote, he said.

Mr. Romney’s message — and questions about Mr. Obama’s early approach to Israel — helped the Republican cut into that margin slightly. Mr. Obama won the Jewish vote 69 percent to 30 percent — slightly below the 78 percent to 24 percent margin among Jewish votes he won over Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008.

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