When Republican Bob Turner won the NY-9 house seat, many bloggers noted with surprise that Jewish New Yorkers voted for a Catholic Republican. This is nothing new.
Rudi Giuliani won reelection against Democrat Ruth Messinger, a certified Conspiracy member, with 3/4 of the Jewish vote. Giuliani is probably the most obvious example, but other Republican politicians successfully courted the Jewish vote. Republican Senator from New York Al D’Amato received a Reagan-like 40% of the Jewish vote in 1992 running against a Jewish challenger. 40% might not seem like much, but hey, it’s New York, and that same year Bush 41 got 11% of the Jewish vote nationwide.
On the other hand, Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House, does not hold sway with the tribesmen nationwide, even though the GOP is inching in on this demographic.
Weekly synagogue attendance doesn’t hurt, of course, but it does not guarantee a strong performance with Jewish voters. I dare say it’s not the shape of the candidate’s nose but his relationship with the community that he represents/aspires to represent that is most relevant to the outcome of an election.