By: Abraham Sofaer  | 

Kennedy Poll Victor; “Interests” Play Role (Vol. 26, Issue 3)

It seems apparent, now that we have the results of the Young Democrats poll at Yeshiva College that Senator Kennedy has successfully wooed orthodox Jews — that attend this school. Senator Kennedy received 318 votes to vice-president Nixon’s 50 votes. The subject of minority voting blocs has been much discussed. A great deal of work, energy and intelligence has been expended in this field. To presume that a poll of 368 college students at a religious school could represent a significant trend or anything of any significance at all, would be dangerous, and highly injudicious.

However, having stated this fact, I am not attempting to present undebatable issues, it would be very pointless of me not to say anything at all. So, I will now present the results of this poll as seen through my eyes, even though the results may be highly questionable.

Are we young Jewish men of Yeshiva College “influenced by religion”? Out of the 50 young men, that voted for Nixon, 44% or 22 young men felt that their vote was influenced by religion. Although this result does not fully reflect the noble and ancient ideals for which we stand at this institution, when, compared with the total 368 votes cast, our twenty strong become diminished in percentage, if not in principle. It hurts to admit that even twenty of us have become prey to such considerations. 

“To what extent is your vote influenced by Jewish interest?” Here is a potent question. As Jews, it is difficult to separate ourselves from our interests as Jews. This would probably be an unhealthy dichotomy. Of the 50 that voted for Nixon, 28 felt that Jewish interests influenced their votes, while 200 of 318 had Jewish interest in mind when they cast their ballots for Kennedy.

A Jewish Vote

It seems that these figures clearly show two things: The Jews here are influenced by Jewish interest, and that there is, in all probability, a “Jewish vote”. Whether these revelations please

us or not must depend on our individual views. The pages of Commentator are always available as a forum in which to discuss this question. 

In spite of the predominant Jewish interest, the students felt that foreign policy was the major issue of the campaign. I guess this shows that we are relatively interested in the campaign and the destiny of the United States. However, on the basis of evidence present in our replies to the other questions, I fear that some poll in the future may show that some large percentage of those deeply concerned about foreign policy are in fact devout isolationists.