by Marc Schulman
When examining presidential elections, or election results in general, for that matter, clear voting patterns emerge. Traditionally, certain ethnic and religious groups have higher rates of support for either Republican or Democratic candidates and/or their parties as a whole. Sometimes, the reason for this support is predictable. For example, since the 1960's the Democratic Party has been the leading supporter of Civil Rights legislation. As a result, African Americans have responded to that support for Civil Rights with their overwhelming support for the Democratic Party. Other times the reasons are less obvious. Jewish Americans have long been stalwart supporters of the Democratic Party. Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic. However, based on their income and education levels, one would think Jews would primarily support the Republican Party. That being said, in almost every case there are historic, or cultural, or religious reasons for individual groups' support of one party or another.