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October 4, 2015 / 21 Tishri, 5776
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The Jewish Vote And The 1948 Election

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The “Yom Kippur statement” did not, however, produce the desired results. Dewey overwhelmingly defeated Democratic U.S. Senator James Mead in the New York gubernatorial race. New York’s Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Irving Ives, easily beat his Democratic opponent, Jewish ex-governor Herbert Lehman.

And in East New York, Joseph Soviero became the first Republican in more than two decades to be elected to the State Assembly. Not only did he win, he won big – 55 percent to 45 percent – over the shocked incumbent. More than one-fourth of the Republican challenger’s votes came on the American Labor Party line.

Bob Weintraub and his friends celebrated a stunning victory. It was a small local election – but it sent a big message to the White House as President Truman began planning for his 1948 election campaign.

Editor’s Note: The author will have more on this subject on page 6 in next week’s issue.

Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and coauthor, with Prof. Sonja Schoepf Wentling, of the new book “Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the ‘Jewish Vote’ and Bipartisan Support for Israel.”

About the Author: Dr. Rafael Medoff is the founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and coeditor of the Online Encyclopedia of America's Response to the Holocaust.

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