Romney and Republicans Make Agressive Bid at Jewish Vote
With less than two months until the U.S. presidential election, the Republican party is making an aggressive last bid attempt to win over Jewish voters in important swing states.
Focusing on the key areas of South Florida, Ohio and Nevada, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Republican Jewish Coalition has begun spending $6.5 million on both on-air and ground efforts to reach Jewish voters who, according to the New York Times, are beginning to question Obama's stance on the security of Israel.
Jewish Americans voters tend to support Democratic candidates for president, as they did in 2008, giving Obama an overwhelming 78 percent of their votes, something Republicans hope will change this coming November.
Most of the money spent by the coalition will be doled out in Florida, where a majority of Jewish voters are located. A cluster of pro-Republican billboards can be seen on South Florida's main highway, Interstate 95, which runs through Boca Raton and Broward County, two areas with large Jewish populations. "Obama…Oy Vey!" and billboards asking if voters "Had enough?" mark the landscape in South Florida as Republicans try to shift the tide of voter opinions.
The coalition also began television ads with a series of "buyer's remorse" themed commercials, featuring a Jewish voter who declared he would change the way he voted in 2008 and vote Republican this time around over concerns for the economy and the state of Israel.
Republicans think the one-two punch of focusing on Israel and the economy will be enough to sway Jewish voters away from their Democrat-leaning tendencies.
According to a Gallup poll conducted this past spring, Obama has the support of 64 percent of Jewish voters with 29 percent supporting Romney. While Obama still maintains a commanding lead over the Jewish vote, Republicans see these figures as reasons for optimism, considering that Obama commanded 78 percent of the Jewish vote last election.
Still, Democrats see the Republican effort as mere wishful thinking and hold that while Israel is a very important issue for Jewish voters, the group tends to overwhelmingly side with the Democratic party on domestic issues such as immigration, abortion and healthcare.
Even though the Jewish population is a small percentage of the American vote at large, Republicans and Democrats continually pander to this group because the Jewish community turn out to vote in disproportionally large numbers. A voter shift in a swing state can make all the difference. For example, in Florida, 3.4 percent of registered voters are Jewish, but they make up as much as 8 percent of the electorate, huge numbers that both the Republicans and Democrats continue to take notice of.