Jewish vote now seen as only Gores to lose

Jewish Republicans in New York, according to exit polls on Tuesday, overwhelmingly chose McCain over Bush, 64 percent to 23 percent, signaling apparent approval for the Arizona challenger's gambit.

"The national Jewish vote is Al Gore's to lose," said political scientist Gilbert Kahn of Kean University in New Jersey.

In California — where Jews represent 5 percent of the electorate — exit polls show Gore with 47 percent of the Jewish vote, Bradley with 23 percent, McCain with 21 percent and Bush with 4 percent.

California has an open primary.

Gore won a resounding vote of confidence from New York Jews Tuesday, according to exit polls, capturing 62 percent of the vote vs. former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley's 38 percent.

"Bush is in deep trouble with Jews, Hispanics and blacks," Kahn said. "Maybe he could recover with Jewish voters by putting a Jew on the ticket. Short of that, I don't see what he could do."

Saddled with memories of his father's Mideast policies, questions about his experience and understanding of foreign affairs, and hurt among minority voters by his sharp turn to the right, Bush "will make an effort to get them back," Kahn said.

Historian Allan Lichtman of American University said Bush's weakness with minority voters — and Gore's strength — will pose a "major problem" for the Texas governor as he retools his campaign for the national electorate.

But the wide gap in domestic issues and the perception that Bush has made his peace with the Christian right, he said, will make any effort to win over significant numbers of Jews very difficult.