2012 Campaign

07.30.12

How the GOP Will Win Jewish Votes

In 2008, John McCain won just 21% of the Jewish vote. The party has typically struggled with this vote in recent years. 2012 presents a unique opportunity for Republicans to grow their share of this constituency for several reasons. Firstly the President is presiding over a weak economy. Furthermore it is well documented that there is a lot of tension between the White House and the Israeli government, and there is a growing concern that nothing can stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

So a new voter outreach campaign by the Republican Jewish Coalition is interesting because of how it approaches the problem. Their latest effort is called "My Buyers Remorse", featuring testimonials by people who voted for Obama in 2008 and who now regret their vote. This testimonial by 'Renie' is particularly effective with its messaging:

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Her key line: "When the stakes are this high I think you don't have to feel guilty about voting Republican." This is critical for the advertising, it acknowledges that most of its target audience have probably never voted Republican before so it needs to assuage those concerns.

The ads are effective because they are testimonials from real people and also because they reflect the reality that the Jewish voting population is predominantly Democratic. The RJC is arguably preparing a template here for how Republicans can reach out to other constituencies that the Party has been unable to make strong inroads to. These ads are similar to David Cameron's "I've never voted Tory before but..." series: commercials which focus on convincing voters to change their voting habits for an election.