Between Nixon and the New Politics
ALTHOUGH Nathan Glazer (p. 43) is for McGovern and Milton Himmelfarb (p. 48) is against him, they both expect that Jews will give a smaller majority of their vote to the Democratic candidate this year than they have ever given to a Democratic candidate in any recent Presidential election. The normal pattern has been for Jews to give between 80 and 90 per cent of their vote to the Democratic Presidential candidate; this year the figure is widely expected to go below 70 per cent and could even, some say, go below 60. One also hears that a certain number of wealthy Jews who have contributed heavily to Democratic Presidential candidates in the past are either planning to sit this election out or to throw their financial support to Nixon.
Does all this mean that the Jews are beginning to move into the Republican party? I think not-or at least not necessarily. In my opinion, the turn away from McGovern has been caused not by a sudden access of Jewish enthusiasm for Nixon or his party, but by a steadily mounting Jewish uneasiness over McGovern. I think, moreover, that to understand this uneasiness fully, one has to look not only at the two issues of Israel and quotas which Mr. Glazer and Mr. Himmelfarb between them so exhaustively discuss, but also at the character of the “McGovern phenomenon” as a whole.
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