Calif. Jews cast their votes for Gore and Feinstein

LOS ANGELES — California Jews maintained their liberal Democratic voting pattern in last week's open primary.

While they gave Arizona Sen. John McCain considerable support in the Republican race, they utterly rejected Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Jews made up 6 percent of the voting electorate, according to the Los Angeles Times exit poll. Vice President Al Gore received 49 percent of the Jewish vote, compared to 35 percent of the general California vote.

McCain won 26 percent of the Jewish vote, compared to 23 percent of the general vote. Bill Bradley picked up 15 percent of the Jewish vote vs. 9 percent general. And Bush received 7 percent vs. 28 percent general.

In the U.S. Senate race, Jews overwhelmingly backed Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, who is Jewish, with 78 percent of their vote, compared to 51 percent of all voters. Republican candidate Tom Campbell, a Congressman from Campbell, got 12 percent of the Jewish vote and 23 percent of the general vote.

Jews showed their liberal streak most clearly in their votes for two state propositions, among 20 on the ballot.

One was Proposition 22 to legally recognize marriages only between a man and a woman, which was widely perceived as an anti-gay measure. The Jewish vote was 24 percent in favor of and 76 percent against the proposition, which passed among all voters by a 61-39 margin.

Proposition 26 called for passage of future school bonds by a simple majority rather than the existing requirement for a two-thirds vote.

Jews supported the measure by a 66-34 margin, but it was defeated narrowly 51-49 in the general vote.

The Los Angeles Times poll interviewed 4,106 voters as they left 75 polling places across California. The sampling error for the entire sample is plus or minus 2 percent, but may be somewhat higher for some subgroups such as Jews.

Tom Tugend

JTA Los Angeles correspondent