May 13, 2009
Jews and Latinos: The Political Future
Many years ago, a conservative commentator, frustrated that Jews continued to vote largely for Democrats, said it best: “Jews live like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” That sentence nicely captures the odd fact that Jews and Latinos, often quite different in their socioeconomic positions, have much in common politically.
Jews are among the most affluent and best educated Americans. Even though there are many working-class Jews, the bulk of the community is middle class, and Jews are disproportionately represented in professional occupations, including law, media, medicine and teaching.
Latinos are a vast community, growing in numbers and influence. While Latinos are making impressive educational strides in each generation, they continue to have a large working class, with great aspirations for upward mobility. In their daily lives, Latinos and Jews live in somewhat different worlds, and opportunities for interaction on an equal basis are not widespread.
And yet the evidence of political affinity is very strong.
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