January 16, 2013 -Election May Be Closer Then Expected Marc Schulman

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Israel Update
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By Marc Schulman

January 16, 2013 -Election May Be Closer Then Expected

As I have written before, this has been a very boring election. However, we may have some drama in the end. According to the latest polls (done for Israel Channel 10), the Likud's support is currently down to 32. That would mean that the total number of Right-wing votes, together with the Haredim is now down to 62. That is only 2 more than needed to gain a victory. There are many questions still up in the air. For example: How will the 14% of currently undecided voters vote? Will any more of the small parties indeed receive the minimum number of votes needed to earn a Knesset seat, or will those currently supporting them move to one of the other larger parties? There still may be some excitement and as the election jingle goes: Only those who vote have a say... [Mi shematz'bia mash'pia].

The report that appeared yesterday, planted by those close to President Obama, (though written by Jeffrey Goldberg) has continued to make waves here. The action has been seen here as a clear act of revenge by Obama against Netanyahu for his support of Romney. Some thought the act would likely backfire against Obama, and result in more support for Netanyahu. However, I think Obama may have been more clever than people give him credit. In my unscientific opinion (after talking to people here on the street (several Netanyahu supporters-Yes, there are a few in Tel Aviv) is that Obama has reminded people of the Netanyahu's public support for Romney. Even Israelis who wanted Romney to win, think it was very stupid for Netanyahu make any declarations about the American election.

The support for Netanyahu is not deep. His attempt to run an election campaign without campaigning has not worked out very well. He will most likely still be the next Prime Minister. Though at this moment, it may not be certain. It is clear that if he was facing one strong candidate he would lose.

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