WASHINGTON (Mar. 8)
Rep. Morris Udall (D.Ariz.) conceded New York’s Jewish vote to his rival, Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.), in the Democratic Presidential primaries there next month. “Forty-five percent of the primary vote in New York is expected to be Jewish and Senator Jackson is deservedly popular among this segment of the electorate and I can’t expect to come in and overwhelm this,” Udall said yesterday on the ABC television “Issues and Answers” program.
He observed that in New York his campaign for the Presidential nomination was “bucking some unusual things,” among which were the Governor, the Party organization, organized labor and “the heaviest Jewish vote in America.”
Udall was referring to Jackson’s wide popularity among Jews because of his militantly pro-Israel stand and his co-authorship of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Foreign Trade Act which linked U.S. economic benefits to the Soviet Union with an easing of Moscow’s emigration policies.
Udall’s assessment of the power of the Jewish vote in New York was confirmed by experts here who told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that New York State has 7,410,000 registered voters of which at the most, 25 percent are Jewish in a normal election year.
However, according to the experts, the upcoming Presidential primaries in New York are expected to bring out a much higher Jewish vote. In New York City, they said, the Jewish vote may go as high as 45-50 percent of the total. “Jewish voters are very civic-minded and really come out to the polls,” one Congressional source from New York observed.
REAGAN EQUIVOCAL ON J-V AMENDMENT
Former Gov. Ronald Reagan of California, campaigning for the Republican nomination against President Ford, took an equivocal position when he was asked yesterday on the NBC-TV “Meet the Press” program if he supported “using pressure such as Senator Jackson’s measure to make economic cooperation with the Soviet Union contingent upon them liberalizing their emigration laws.”
According to a transcript obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Reagan said: “Oh, I think whether that particular specific is one or not, I think we should–well, this is what I criticized about detente. It has been a one-way street. We are making the concessions, we are giving them (the Russians) the things they want. We asked nothing in return. In fact, we give them things before we ask for the return. I think it has to be a two-way street and depending on the importance of what it is they ask. I think that should measure the importance of what we ask in return.”
But Reagan said specifically that he did not favor Jackson’s proposal to use “food power”–meaning grain sales to the USSR–to get Moscow to comply with American wishes. “Selling gives us the advantage. We can’t just stubbornly say. ‘We won’t sell,'” the conservative Republican told “Meet the Press.” In that respect, Reagan’s view seemed to parallel that of President Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger who have been strongly critical of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.