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November 21, 2004

The Jewish vote and Puerto Ricans

Jay Nordlinger (11/8/04):

Jewish Americans voted in huge numbers against President Bush, giving him only 24 percent. (This was after it was predicted that Bush would soar among Jews.) I thought, "Well, Milton Himmelfarb's old quip still holds true: that Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans." Then I thought, "Hey — is that fair to Puerto Ricans? What percentage of their vote did George W. Bush get?"
Last week's New York Times (11/14/04):

Evangelism is flourishing not just in the red states of the nation's heartland, but in the urban, liberal stronghold of New York City, where thousands of evangelical churches are anchored in working-class neighborhoods. Whether it will evolve into a local political force, as it has nationally, remains an open question. But a range of interviews with pastors, congregants and religious experts suggests that a new debate - and perhaps a political conversion - is taking place in parts of the city's minority neighborhoods, swaths that Democrats have long claimed as their own.

It is a conversion that prompted Jeanmarie Salazar, a Puerto Rican mother of four in the Bronx, to vote for President Bush even though his economic policies troubled her. And a conversion that caused Harold Thompson, an African-American from Flatbush who lived through the civil rights movement, to part with a lifetime of voting Democratic, citing the "immorality that is destroying our country."


"I am a conservative Democrat," [State Senator Rubén] Diaz, 61, said in a telephone interview from Puerto Rico. "When it comes to education, when it comes to health, when it comes to jobs, I'm a Democrat. When it comes to moral issues - marriage, abortion - I'm not a Democrat."
And more:

While Hispanics and African Americans in New York City have traditionally voted Democratic, those who attend evangelical churches may feel a different pull. José Casanova, a professor of sociology who specializes in religion and politics at New School University and has studied evangelicals around the world, said that even if they are poor, they tend to vote for conservative candidates.

"They do not so much identify with their economic position right now, but with the one they ought to have with the help of God," he said. "They are very conservative and pro-market and do not expect the government to help them."

As I said a few days ago, in the Democratic Party, the Jews will sit alone, in the dark.