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Jewish Voting Patterns in U.S. Follow Liberal Trend, Survey Finds

The American Jewish Committee made public here today the results of a year-long study on voting patterns in metropolitan and rural areas. The study, presented to the national executive board of the organization which concluded its session here last night, established that religious affiliation plays an important role in American voting, but is far from being the only basis of choice in the voting booths.

The survey found that Jewish voting patterns tend to follow a liberal trend and that Jews vote readily for candidates who are members of other faiths by responding to programs or beliefs rather than to appeals of religious affiliation. In New York, for example, where Jews constitute more than a quarter of its population, there has never been a Jewish mayor. Catholic candidates frequently have garnered greater support from Jews than did their Jewish opponents.

Religious affiliation seemed to have a greater influence among voters in middle-class areas than it did in the working-class section of the population. Religious ties, the survey found, played a much more significant role in local municipal elections than they did nationally.

Voting patterns among Jews show that their liberal voting tendencies decline as they rise on the social, economic ladder, but to a lesser degree than among those of other faiths. The presence of Jews in a local electorate tends to reduce sharp religious cleavage among Catholics and Protestants. In one mid western suburb where there were no Jewish voters, the religious issue had a very strong impact–nearly all Catholics voted for Kennedy, and nearly all Protestants voted for Nixon. In another nearby mid western suburb where there were Jews, the cleavage between Catholics and Protestants was far less sharply defined.

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