I got some intesting e-mail in response to last Wednesday’s column, in which I asked the semantic question “What is a ‘Jew’?”
A couple people have asked me if I can find any hard data to back up my idea that religiously observant Jews might be more conservative in their voting than ethnically Jewish atheists.
The answer is no, which is why I only said that I “suspect” that there might be such a pattern. It’s easy to find data on the voting patterns of church-going and non-church-going Americans as a whole, but I haven’t been able to find any good data on the voting patterns of synagogue-going vs non-synagogue-going ethnically Jewish Americans.
All I can offer to support my theory, for what it is worth, is anecdotal evidence.
While the great majority of self-identified Jews vote Democrat and consider themselves liberal, it is easy to find conservative, Republican-leaning columnists and pundits who are ethnically and religiously Jewish.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, for example, is actually a Jewish Rabbi here in the Seattle area. His columns and talk radio appearances make it quite obvious that his political beliefs are right of center.
Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved makes no secret of his religious devotion, in fact he has said that his religious re-awakening was a major factor in his switch from liberal to conservative politics.
Speaking of voting patterns, columnist Bruce Bialosky has written a recent column arguing that his fellow Jews should be more willing to vote Republican.
It would be interesting to see someone do a survey on voting and religion among ethnic Jews. Until proven wrong I will continue to think it likely that many if not most religiously devout American Jews are right of center.