Jewish Class Conflict?
IN NO OTHER American election has “the Jewish vote” ever been so central to the strategy and tactics of the candidates, or so prominent in the news, commentaries, polls, and analysis, as in New York in 1969. It was clear that Mayor Lindsay would get most of the votes at the bottom and the top: at the bottom the poor—Negroes and Puerto Ricans; at the top the prosperous and well-educated. In the middle, it was clear that Lindsay was not going to get the votes of the Catholics, mainly Italian and Irish, of the working and lower-middle classes. The question about the middle was whether he would get enough Jewish votes to put together a plurality. He did. Or rather, his Democratic opponent failed to get enough. It was less that Lindsay won than that Procaccino lost. (Of the white Protestant minority, most voted for Lindsay: not as the liberal candidate-they are not extraordinarily liberal—but as the fellow—Protestant, the landsman.)
Jews voted more than other whites for the liberal candidate. So what else is new? Jews always vote for the liberal candidate—notoriously in Presidential elections, as in 1968, but also locally, as recently in Los Angeles. There they voted not merely more than other whites but actually more than the Mexicans for Bradley, the Negro who was defeated. From one point of view, then, little has changed.
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