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Jewish support for Gore high, but not extraordinary

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (JTA) – Despite a Jewish vice-presidential candidate, Democrat Al Gore only garnered a bit more support among Jews than President Bill Clinton received when he ran for re-election four years ago.

According to exit polls compiled by Voter News Service, Gore and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) captured 79 percent of the Jewish vote, 1 percent more than Clinton in 1996 and 1 percent less than Clinton received in 1992.

But, both times, Clinton faced not only a Republican candidate but independent Ross Perot, who got 9 percent of the Jewish vote in 1992 and 3 percent four years later.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush came away with a larger share of the Jewish vote than other Republican candidates have in recent elections.

Bush received 19 percent, compared to 16 percent in 1996 for Bob Dole and 11 percent for Bush’s father in 1992.

Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who ran on the Green Party ticket, garnered 1 percent of the Jewish popular vote Tuesday.

Popular wisdom had predicted a larger share of the Jewish vote for Gore, given the traditional Jewish inclination to vote Democratic combined with the assumption that some Independent or Republican voters might switch parties to see a Jewish vice president.

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