By: Don Davis  | 

Student Poll Shows Majority Favoring Wide Victories for Johnson and Keating (Vol. 30, Issue 1)

If it were up to the students of Yeshiya College, President Lyndon B. Johnson would already be elected to his first full term as President of the United States. In a preference poll held that

week under the auspices of The Commentator and advised by Dr. Charles Liebman, assistant professor of political science, President Johnson polled 411 votes, or 89.9% of the total votes cast, and Senator Goldwater received 46 votes or 10.1% of the vote. In the same poll, Yeshiva College students re-elected Kenneth Keating to his second term as United States Senator from New York State by a majority of 309 votes to 131 for Robert Kennedy. Senator Keating received 70.2% of the vote as opposed to 29.8% for Mr. Kennedy.

In the case of the presidential election, the Yeshiva students followed the national prediction that the “Jewish vote” ‘would go to President Johnson by majorities as high as 90%. 

Students chose foreign policy as the major issue in the campaign. Some 49.5% of those voting’ felt that this was the major reason for their support of a particular candidate; 28.9% of the student body felt that civil rights was the major issue, 12% picked social welfare and 9.2% chose political morals as the principle issue in the campaign. However, closer analysis shows that 48.69% of the Johnson voters picked foreign policy as the major issue while 57.7% of the Goldwater voters did so. On the civil rights issue the breakdown was 29% of the John‘son voters as opposed to 26.5% of the Goldwater voters. Some 13.3% of the Johnson voters chose social welfare as the issue while only 2.2% .of the Goldwater supporters did so. Likewise, 13.3% of the Goldwater backers thought that political morals was the issue as opposed to 8.7% of ‘the Johnson voters. The difference between Johnson and Goldwater voters on picking foreign policy as “the issue” might be attributed to the candidates’ stands on the nuclear policy question. Many students specifically singled out nuclear policy within the area of foreign policy. Similarly, the vast difference between the backers of both candidates in the choice of social welfare as the major issue in the election may be explained by the philosophical differences between the candidates. 

There was virtually no difference between the science and non-science majors, since 87.8% of the non-science majors and 91.4% of the science majors voted for the incumbent President Johnson. 

The Trend 

A major trend of ticket splitting was noticed. Of the 402 people who voted for President Johnson and a senator, 281 or 70% voted for Senator Keating, and only 121 or 30% voted for Mr. Kennedy. Among the 45 people who voted for Senator Goldwater and also voted for a senator, 35 or 78% voted for Keating and 10 or 22% voted for Kennedy. 

In a closer analysis of the Keating-Kennedy election, it was found that New York State residents voted 187-71 for Senator Keating or 72.5% to 27.5%. Out of state students voted 123-65 for Keating or 66.4% o 33.6%. This we see that Mr. Kennedy did better with the national electorate than with the local electorate. 

Some 60% of the student body voted, with the freshmen having the greatest turnout, 67%, and the seniors the smallest, 55%. 

In conclusion, it must be stated that the trends here do not reflect a national picture. The sampling taken was of a limited group of Orthodox Jews, and can be interpreted only in the terms of a 2-1 Jewish vote for Senator Keating and a Jewish landslide for President Johnson.