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Adelson Campaign Urges Jews to Vote GOP

The Republican Jewish Coalition has launched a new campaign to persuade Jewish voters to support Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/25/2012, 5:01 PM

Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson at a Birthright Israel Foundation event
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson at a Birthright Israel Foundation event
Billie Weiss/Birthright Israel Foundation

A Republican group backed by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has launched a new campaign in battleground states to persuade Jewish voters to turn their support away from President Obama in favor of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Republican Jewish Coalition plans to begin a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign in the coming weeks called “My Buyer’s Remorse,” targeting voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, aides said.

The campaign uses testimonials from people who say they regret supporting President Obama due to his economic policies and his stance toward Israel, in hopes of cutting into the wide advantage Democrats have held over Republicans among Jewish voters, The New York Times reported.

Adelson, a staunch supporter of Israel, has vowed to spend as much as $100 million to help Romney win the upcoming elections.

In its most extensive electoral effort undertaken by the group, The Republican Jewish Coalition, the party’s leading outreach group for Jewish voters, has spent months developing a campaign to find like-minded voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the three swing states with the largest Jewish populations.

“We don’t need to get a majority of the vote to win,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “When we take votes away from Democrats, we are taking votes from a key part of their constituency.”

A Gallup poll of voters from June 1 to July 22 showed that Obama held a lead over Romney among Jewish voters of 67 percent to 25 percent. They said they strongly supported liberal issues that traditionally align with Democrats, including abortion rights, same-sex marriage and an overhaul of immigration laws.

Yet, while many Jewish voters may support the Democratic platform on social issues, they are finding themselves feeling increasingly alienated by the party’s unfavorable and hostile policies towards Israel, and in terms of foreign policy, would prefer to align themselves with Republican candidates.

The advertising campaign features a testimonial from Michael Goldstein, 48, a community college administrator from New Jersey, who said he enthusiastically supported Obama’s candidacy, but became disillusioned by his administration, The Times reported.

“I was enamored with Obama,” Goldstein said in an interview. “I thought he was sharp, intelligent and brought a new sense of wonder to politics. The fact that we were helping elect the first African-American president of the United States made me very proud, but I don’t believe anything he says anymore. I go more by his actions rather than by what he says.”

“There is a very large chunk of the Jewish community that is very Democratic that can’t be eaten into,” said Mik Moore, founder of the Jewish Council for Education and Research. “There is a fight for maybe 10-15 percent, but nobody is underestimating the impact that the massive independent spending can have on the campaign.”