According to a newly released study from the Pew Research Center, American Jews continue, overwhelmingly, to vote Democratic—as has been the case for nearly a century. But the study found one exception: 75 percent of Orthodoxy Jews say they lean Republican—an even greater percentage than in past surveys. Tevi Troy comments:
Decades ago, the late Milton Himmelfarb famously summed up the Jewish vote by saying “Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans,” suggesting that the ballots of high-earning Jews unexpectedly looked like those of low-income voters. This pithy observation summed up Jewish demographics and voting for half a century. It also launched a trove of articles and more than a few books on the mystery of Jewish voting patterns. Why didn’t Jews follow the pattern of other white ethnic groups like the Irish or the Italians, who became more conservative as they assimilated?
[The] new Pew study . . . suggests that the behavior is no longer a mystery: the bulk of the Jewish community remains liberal, but this allegiance no longer puts them out of step with the group’s demographics. The study found that “Jewish Americans, on average, are older, have higher levels of education, earn higher incomes, and are more geographically concentrated in the Northeast than Americans overall.” Accordingly, the study shows that secular Jews vote like other secular, highly educated, and urbanized populations.
Like their secular counterparts, Orthodox Jews are clustered in the Northeast, but they differ in having lower levels of educational attainment. About 60 percent of Jews overall are college graduates, almost double the rate of the American population as a whole, but only 37 percent of Orthodox Jews have college degrees. And even though these religious Jews are largely urban and suburban, they vote like rural religious voters. . . . They live near hipsters but vote like Mormons.
More about: American Jewry, American politics, Milton Himmelfarb, Orthodoxy