March 9, 2000
What do the March 7th primary results mean?
Favorite sons George W. Bush and Al Gore scored their knockout victories Tuesday. CNN and NPR reported that insurgent Senators McCain and Bradley were preparing to exit the presidential election campaign following their disappointing results.
Many Jewish activists, however, found the most significant election news, however, in less global, more local results.
The overwhelming "Yes" vote for Proposition 22, reaffirming that only marriages between a man and a woman are valid in California received different reactions. "The Yes vote [on Prop. 22] is a strong indication of traditional sentiment, and that the 'No' campaign has not worked -- especially in its suggestion that a Yes vote is a vote for violence," said Arnold Steinberg, a Republican political strategist.
The strong vote for Prop. 22 seemed to reaffirm a "common sense" definition of marriage for many voters. "All people should be free to make their own personal relationship choices without redefining marriage for an entire society," concluded Howard Winkler, who directs Community Research and Information Center, a largely Jewish, conservative political group. "If Prop. 22 had failed, then the word marriage would have become meaningless in California."
A more liberal, and disappointed longtime Jewish activist, who wished to remain anonymous, saw the election results differently: "There was a percentage of the majority of voters who had no idea what they were voting for. Some people voted innocently for Prop. 22, and some voted out of anti-gay propaganda." Prop. 22 passed with approximately 60 percent of the vote.
"I think it's sad," said Democratic activist Howard Welinsky. "The McCain campaign probably brought out more conservative voters, and helped create the lopsided result."