Politics

/

ArcaMax

Trump allies plan 'largest effort ever' to mobilize the Jewish vote

David Smiley, Miami Herald on

Published in Political News

Boasting that they are about to embark on "the largest, most sophisticated, most targeted state-of-the-art campaign" in history, leaders of a conservative Jewish advocacy organization announced Thursday that they plan to spend up to $10 million this fall in Florida and other swing states on behalf of President Donald Trump.

Republican Jewish Coalition leaders -- speaking to reporters only hours after Trump announced a brokered deal that normalizes relations between Israel and United Arab Emirates -- said they have been gathering data about Jewish voters across the country in preparation for a targeted campaign to advertise Trump's successes in the U.S. and Middle East.

At least $1 million will be spent on TV, and more than $1 million on digital ads and mailers, they said.

"This is the largest effort ever undertaken to mobilize the Jewish vote," said RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks.

The organization's efforts will play out in November battlegrounds such as Florida, where relatively small shifts in political sentiment can swing tight elections. Polls currently show Trump trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Florida.

Jewish voters heavily lean Democratic. But in recent years, Republican presidential candidates have performed better among Jewish voters. And two years ago in Florida, when three statewide races went to automatic recounts, Trump ally Ron DeSantis' support among Jewish voters helped put him over the top in the governor's race against Democrat Andrew Gillum, according to some Republicans.

"There is room to grow for Republicans among Jewish voters. Inroads is the name of the game," Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, told reporters on a conference call.

Four years ago, exit polls show Trump won 23% of the Jewish vote nationally. But RJC leaders said they believe Trump has improved his standing after moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and steadfastly supporting Israel in its negotiations with Palestinian leaders.

 

RJC leaders also said Thursday's Israel-UAE agreement was historic, marking only the third time the nation of Israel as struck an accord with an Arab nation. And they criticized the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's record on Israel, saying the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president, sought to distance itself from Israel and negotiated a problematic nuclear deal with Iran, from which Trump withdrew.

In a statement that cited a $38 billion Obama administration military aid package to Israel, Kevin Munoz, Florida press secretary for the Biden campaign, disputed that assertion.

"Throughout Vice President Biden's career of public service, he has been committed to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and ensuring Israel's qualitative military edge," Munoz said. "No amount of advertising dollars can paper over Donald Trump's complete failure in leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic throughout his time in office, or undermine the historic $38 billion agreement between the U.S. and Israel negotiated under the Obama-Biden administration."

(c)2020 Miami Herald

Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.