Krusty the Clown, Cristina Yang, Tevye, Midge Maisel and Larry David by the Forward

Would Tevye vote for Trump or Biden? 25 fictional Jews weigh in.

The 2020 voter faces the ballot box during a season of unprecedented challenges — not least of which is the act of voting itself.

In addition to the usual gerrymandering and voter suppression, a nationwide pandemic is poised to overwhelm an underfunded postal service. As if that weren’t enough, the president, repeating long-debunked claims of voter fraud, has encouraged supporters to commit it by voting once in person and once by mail. With so much on the line and so many hurdles to clear, the electorate faces urgent questions: namely, who would our favorite fictional Jews support on the first Tuesday in November?

Using a patented method involving books, DVDs, Erlenmeyer flasks and arcane Kabbalah that works a bit like the enchanted books from that movie “The Pagemaster,” The Forward’s panel of pop culture experts have determined which imaginary Yids are in team Biden and which are eager for four more years of Trump.

Our exact process is proprietary, but we can let you know our criteria. The characters, per the U.S. Constitution, need to be American citizens and at least 18 by November 3, 2020. Reflecting most of non-fictional American Jewry, the polled fictional individuals trended strongly toward the Democrats with a few notable exceptions and surprises. Overall, the results proved that members of the Jewish voting bloc, far from a monolith, are bringing different issues to bear on their pick. As the saying goes, two Jews, three opinions. Two vastly different candidates means a whole raft more.

Schmidt (‘New Girl’)

While originally a classic Ryan-Romney Republican, Schmidt has grown more liberal as the years have progressed due largely to the influence of Jess and Cece. Settling into fatherhood — with a daughter named for Ruth Bader Ginsburg — he was gunning for Harris from the beginning, wanting his half-Indian progeny to be able to see herself in the White House. He’s still excited for this ticket, and wants to make sure Ruth’s around when he fills in his mail-in ballot. (He remains a major germaphobe and Covid-19 has made him a recluse, so Cece will be the one delivering his vote to the mailbox.)

His issues: Education (he’s for school choice), the economy, Israel and gun control.

His pick: Biden

Biff and Happy Loman (‘Death of a Salesman’)

Biff has never been that political, but Happy took him to a Trump rally and neither of them has looked back since. Happy thinks that Trump’s horse sense and gift as a negotiator have led to a booming economy and Biff, who owns a small farm in Kansas, agrees that his work on ending government regulations has been a huge boon. Ending NAFTA hurt Biff’s business and the trade war with China put a dent in his sorghum margins, but he sees Trump’s long game, and believes this to be a temporary setback on the way to greater prosperity.

Their issues: The economy, national security, immigration enforcement and ending the “China virus.”

Their pick: Trump

Abbi and Ilana (‘Broad City’)

Ilana believes that Kamala Harris is “a cop” and that Biden is a creep who smells people’s hair. Abbi’s making her vote for them anyway.

Their issues: Roe v. Wade, LGBTQ rights, marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform and student loan forgiveness. Ilana is also an intactivist for dogs, believing, erroneously, that people circumcise them.

Their pick: Biden

Dr. Cristina Yang (‘Grey’s Anatomy’)

A Beverly Hills native who earned her two terminal degrees in Northern California, Dr. Yang knows Kamala Harris personally. She will vote for her and her running mate and hopes to have her ear on healthcare issues. Could Surgeon General be on the table?

Her issues: Prescription drug cost reform, pandemic planning, women’s health, racial justice and education (particularly resources for special education teachers) and gun control.

Her pick: Biden

Fran Fine (‘The Nanny’)

Did she associate with her fellow Queens native Donald Trump in the past? Of course. That’s canon. But that doesn’t mean she’s a fan of the guy now. Oh my gaaaawd — haven’t you seen how he handled this pandemic?

Her issues: Immigration (remember, Mr. Sheffield came from England), LGBTQ rights, education and Israel.

Her pick: Biden

Alexander and Sophie Portnoy (‘Portnoy’s Complaint’)

Mother and son now agree on one thing: Trump. After years of analysis, and some time in the trenches as a progressive apparatchik for the city, Portnoy has decided that he is, fundamentally, an egoist, and will stop pretending to be any kind of ideologue. He now supports Israel unreservedly, following his embarrassing bout of impotence there, having since had success with Sabra women. Sophie, a still sharp but far less guarded centenarian, finds herself drawn to a president who constantly positions himself as a martyr and alternately praises and derides people he appointed to leadership positions.

Their issues: Israel, national security, medicare protection and lower taxes.

Their pick: Trump

Krusty the Clown (‘The Simpsons’)

Krusty likes Donald’s casinos. Under the 2017 tax cuts he saw his corporation prosper — and gave precisely none of the profits back to the employees. He was a bit miffed about some of Trump’s trade policy, however, as it jeopardized his relationship with manufacturers in China that make his creepy dolls.

His issues: Tax cuts, rollbacks on government regulation, trade and (for Rabbi Krustofsky Z”L) Israel.

His pick: Trump

Seth and Sandy Cohen (‘The OC’)

Seth was very eager to vote for Bernie, but is now doing some light campaigning for Biden-Harris (he adopted the state of Arizona through “Pod Save America”). Sandy, on the other hand, has known both Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff for years through lawyerly circles.

Their issues: Criminal justice reform, an end of for-profit prisons, education, climate change and gun control

Their pick: Biden

Toby Ziegler and Josh Lyman (‘The West Wing’)

What do you expect? They’d just abandon their principles and tilt to the hard right?

Their issues: Gun control, mental health resources, affordable healthcare and funding for research on MS. Recalling his time with the Bronx Borough President, Ziegler is an advocate of affordable housing.

Their pick: Biden — in fact, they’re surrogates.

Midge and Joel Maisel (‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’)

Like many Jews, Joel has swung to the right in his old age largely out of concern for Eretz Yisrael. Midge hates Trump. HATES him. She met him in Le Club in the ‘70s with that weasely Roy Cohn and he made a crass remark about her chest.

Their issues: Joel is essentially a single issue voter for Israel; Midge is concerned with education and childcare and the typical liberal slate of issues, though she’s also known to harp on the supposed abridgment of first amendment rights for comedians these days.

Their pick: Split vote.

Marjorie Morningstar (‘Marjorie Morningstar’)

Now the matriarch of a multigenerational clan of Modern Orthodox Jews, Marjorie finds Trump disgusting and is heartened by the fact that Biden, while not Jewish himself, has many Jewish in-laws and supports Israel.

Her issues: Israel, the economy and funding for the arts.

Her pick: Biden

Harold Berman (‘Hey Arnold!’)

The lovable bully from P.S. 118 grew up, pledged at AEPi at Duke and is now a huge Trump supporter. His iconic blue cap has been replaced with a red MAGA one. He likes the way Trump is “shaking things up” in Washington and is inclined to call people snowflakes on social media. He loves Ben Shapiro and is fond of saying “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

His issues: The economy, national security, First Amendment rights (he thinks “PC culture” is overreachin ever since Gerald called him out for singing along to “Bitches Ain’t Shit” at a karaoke night).

His pick: Trump

George Bluth, Sr. (‘Arrested Development’)

George, Sr. understands Trump as only a financially imperiled, and at times shifty, real estate developer can. Since receiving a presidential pardon from his old golf partner, he has been heaping large sums on his bid for reelection (mostly bounced checks).

His issues: The economy, something called “sex offender-zoning reallignment” and, of course, criminal justice reform.

His pick: Trump

Howard Ratner (‘Uncut Gems’)

Had Howard not been shot dead in 2012, he would be a Trump supporter. Divorced from Dinah and living in his office now (the gambling got out of hand after that big Celtics win), he has money in Vegas on the T-man’s victory right down to the final electoral vote tally. He’s pissed about the NBA walkouts but is intellectually honest enough to admit they may have a point.

His issues: Israel, the economy, tax cuts and “alimony abolition.”

His pick: Trump

Larry David (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’)

Of course he’ll vote for Biden, though he’s kinda “eh” on the whole thing. He thought a Bloomberg presidency would be pretty, pretty, pretty good. He won’t speak ill of Bernie Sanders, but he’s a bit tired of the comparisons.

His issues: Major overhauls to the highway system and automotive industry. Namely: he wants carpool lanes to be more lenient and car periscopes to come standard on American makes. He’s also concerned about cooling relations with Iran following that whole fatwa debacle.

His pick: Biden

Fox Mulder (‘The X-Files’)

Will not be voting.

His issues: Release of all classified information related to extraterrestrial life. No platform has promised this.

His pick: N/A

Ari Gold (‘Entourage’)

He consistently tops a list of Hollywood Republicans, despite the fact that his character was based on the brother of a former Obama cabinet member. He thinks #MeToo has gone too far.

His issues: Israel, the economy and an end to “PC culture.”

His pick: Trump. All the way Trump.

Meyer Wolfsheim (‘The Great Gatsby’)

Wolfsheim has “gonnegtions” with Trump going back decades and is a major donor to his campaign. What Wolfsheim did for Trump and the depth of their partnership is currently the purview of a criminal probe launched by the Southern District of New York.

His issues: Gutting federal regulations, slashing taxes and finding out what all this green light pollution in Long Island is all about.

His pick: Trump

Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa Saperstein (‘Parks and Recreation’)

Ever the wild cards, they’re writing in Q, of QAnon.

Their issues: Carbonating the national water supply.

Their pick: Write-in vote

Willow Rosenberg (‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’)

Willow was absolutely gutted when Warren didn’t cross the electoral threshold. She will hold her nose and vote for the Democratic ticket, and has even been canvassing a bit, tapping into her reserves of Dark Willow confidence while making her pitch.

Her issues: LGBTQ and reproductive rights, police and immigration reform and climate change.

Her pick: Biden

Tevye and Golde (‘Fiddler on the Roof’)

Tevye admires Trump, even as he disapproves of him plastering his names on high-rises “like some kind of Nebuchadnezzar.” He sees in our 45th president the “rich man” potency he longed for back in Anatevka. He has, in his advanced — and I mean advanced — age become something of an American nationalist. Golde upbraids him constantly, believing Trump’s policies on refugees to be an existential threat to people fleeing persecution. “Have you forgotten the pogroms, the Cossacks?” she said recently, alerting her husband to footage of brutal police crackdowns on peaceful protesters. Tevye countered by showing her Fox News footage of looting and burning businesses. Both, however, are implicated in the president’s impeachment, having pledged money to a modern-day haven for Jewish refugees named for their old shtetl and bankrolled by two shady Giuliani associates.

Their issues: Tevye is concerned with Israel, school choice and national security. Golde cares deeply about a reworking of the asylum system.

Their pick: Split vote

Bialystock and Bloom (‘The Producers’)

The producing duo’s long relationship came to a bitter end in November of 2016, when Bialystock’s favored candidate won. Bloom is offended by Trump’s abuse of the tax code. Bialystock can’t believe he lived long enough to see Nazi pandering have a second life. They are not on speaking terms.

Their issues: Bialystock wants an overhaul on income tax and unprecedented clemency for tax fraud. Bloom wants to close tax loopholes. Both are strangely into tort reform.

Their pick: Split vote

Bert (‘Sesame Street’)

Bert was very annoyed that everyone assumed he supported Mayor Pete; he wanted Bloomberg.

His issues: The economy, rent-stabilization and LGBTQ rights.

His pick: Biden

Hesh Rabkin (‘The Sopranos’)

Hesh is discreet about his politics, but he loved when Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and also his rollback on payday loan protections for consumers. He thinks Trump’s a schmuck who constantly says the wrong thing, but he knows plenty of people like that. As long as Trump gets the job done, he’ll always pull the lever for him.

His issues: Israel, tax reform and a full restoration of predatory lending.

His pick: Trump

The Eppeses (‘Numb3rs’)

Charlie, math guy that he is, was a big fan of Andrew Yang. His dad, Alan. wanted Bernie (he actually knew him from his time as an anti-war activist). FBI agent Don hates what Trump did to the Bureau. He was in a Lincoln Project ad pathologizing him.

Their issues: Charlie’s concerned with STEM education and climate change. Alan is invested in ending income inequality and promoting social justice. Don wants to end the death penalty. They all support Biden’s cancer moonshot.

Their pick: Biden

Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (‘The Plot Against America’)

I’m not going there.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at Grisar@Forward.com.

How 25 favorite Jewish characters will vote in November

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Would Tevye vote for Trump or Biden? 25 fictional Jews weigh in.

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close