Republican Jewish Coalition

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What to Watch

October 26, 2020

Election Day 2020 is just over one week away, and here is your update on the stories and trends to watch this week. Let us have your feedback at [email protected].


Top News of the Week:
Election Day is 8 Days Away, and RJC is in the Fight

The RJC is on the front lines, getting the message out in the Jewish community about President Donald Trump’s accomplishments, Joe Biden’s terrible record, and why it’s important for Jewish voters to support President Trump in this election. RJC leaders recently had the opportunity to publicly debate Jewish Democrats. Please watch (and share) their excellent efforts:

  • RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks went head-to-head in a debate with Jewish Democratic Council of America (JCDA) Executive Director Halie Soifer. Watch the debate, sponsored by AJC, here.

  • RJC Atlanta Chapter Chairman Chuck Berk and JDCA Board member Michael Rosenzweig made the case for their candidates in a debate sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Times. Watch it here.

The RJC has invested millions of dollars in television ads in key states, including Florida. Our “Crazy Eddie” style has been getting considerable attention. The Forward wrote about it and quoted RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks:

“It’s just wall-to-wall political spots right now,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said. “We had to find something that would stand out, rather than the usual deep baritone voiceover thing.”

…Florida has more than 650,000 Jewish residents, and while only 1% remains undecided according to a recent poll, they represent a crucial voting bloc in a state where the 2000 presidential election was decided by 537 votes and Trump won in 2016 with less than 50 percent of the vote.

“Any small segment in Florida, if they move one way or the other — because it’s always such a close state — is going to turn the election,” said University of North Florida political science professor Michael Binder.

The RJC is spending $3.5 million to run its advertisements on South Florida television, while [Michael] Bloomberg has donated $250,000 to help the Jewish Democratic Council of America run its ads on social media. Bend the Arc said it was spending “six figures” on its swing state campaign, which includes the digital videos along with phone and text banking.

“The three most important states for us are Florida, Florida and Florida,” quipped Brooks.

Brooks said his organization’s ad is meant to parody the raucous “Crazy Eddie” ads from the 1980s in which a fast-talking salesman touts low, low, low prices on audio equipment while wildly gesticulating.

“It’s got people talking, which we want,” said Brooks.

Binder said the Crazy Eddie spoof was a smart approach and likely to resonate with older Jews who relocated to Florida from the tri-state area.


Of Note: Biden's Record on Israel

Shmuel Klatzkin, writing at The American Spectator, shines a spotlight on Joe Biden’s record on Israel, which has convinced many Jews to vote for President Trump.

Biden has promised to return to the “highlights” of [the Obama administration's Israel] policy, and has welcomed into his coalition the unapologetically bigoted voices of people like Linda Sarsour, and accepted without demurral the blatantly anti-Semitic voices of Representatives [RashidaTlaib, [Ilhan] Omar, and [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez, the last of whom could not refrain from intentionally and publicly snubbing the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, Nobel Peace laureate and signer of a peace agreement with Yassir Arafat, showing that her issue is not with one side or the other in Israel but with its very existence. Biden and his party ignore the successes that were conspicuously absent from the approach he worked for and still endorses. Who would have believed four years ago that two Arab states would have signed peace treaties with Israel and that there is momentum for many more? But in the face of such great results, Biden wants us to again put Israel in its place, which means making it subject to the threat of a nuclear Iran and empowering its enemies just when they have been losing the battle for the minds and hearts of the Arab world.

I say that a candidate with such a record on Israel and the Middle East needs no further consideration. To vote for such a person is to endorse the destruction of the peace that is already taking shape, and instead empowering the darkest forces on the planet, helping them to get closer to their stated goal of wiping out the world’s largest Jewish community.


The Enthusaism is with Trump

One image the mainstream media won't show you: side-by-side photos of a Trump rally and a Biden rally. There's a reason, as Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner:

"I can't believe there aren't any newspeople here," said Linda of Greene County, Pennsylvania, as she stood among hundreds of cars and pickup trucks idling in long parallel lines in a vast big-box-store parking lot Saturday, waiting to join the Interstate 70 Trump Train. Indeed, although there were carloads of Trump supporters as far as one could see, and many more on the way from Ohio and West Virginia, and this enormous political event was happening less than two weeks before the presidential election, as far as I could tell, I was the only newsperson there.

It was the biggest political rally no one saw. And gatherings like it have been happening for months in some of the places President Trump needs most to win if he is to be reelected. And, remarkably, the rallies are not the work of the Trump campaign. The road rally in Washington, Pennsylvania, was organized and staged by local Trump supporters, linked together largely by Facebook, who want to show that enthusiasm for the president in western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas is not just strong but stronger than it was when Trump eked out a victory in Pennsylvania in 2016. If Trump wins this critical state, it will owe in significant part to this organic movement and the energetic organizers who have nothing to do with his campaign.

Meanwhile, the best Joe Biden can do is call Trump supporters names. Remember Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables?” Here's Biden:

During a “rally” in Bucks County, Pa., Joe Biden referred to Trump supporters protesting outside his event as “chumps.”

“I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as those who do,” Biden said, in an attempt to prove his commitment to unity. But then he decided to go off-script and added, “including those chumps with the microphone out there.”

… Trump Rapid Response director Abigail Marone estimates that more Trump supporters than Biden supporters turned out at Biden’s rally.


Now for the Most Important Part: Vote!

This is where enthusiasm must translate into action: at the ballot box. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Florida, New York, or Montana – every vote is important!

Here is how the RJC is working to get out the vote, as the Jerusalem Post reports:

ON THE Republican side, the all-virtual get-out-the-vote operation looks similar, with the RJC placing a $3.5 million cable television advertisement buy in Florida counties with large Jewish populations: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The RJC’s signature ad this election season calls Trump “the most pro-Israel president in history.”

RJC national political director Sam Markstein called this year’s effort to deliver Jewish votes “unprecedented.”

“Whether from the resource perspective or the participation perspective, we are seeing an unmatched level of enthusiasm among our volunteers to support getting the vote out for President Trump,” Markstein said.

Among their volunteers is Phil Richmond, a 73-year-old who has campaigned on behalf of Jewish Republicans for decades, ranging from local Philadelphia campaigns to the John McCain presidential race in 2008. Richmond retired last year to Sarasota, Florida, with his wife. Since April, he’s been making phone calls targeting Jewish voters in his home state.

“We target thousands of voters with an online database. We ask a simple five-question survey, questions including whether they support President Trump and if they plan to vote by in person or by mail,” Richmond said.

He said volunteers follow scripts that are being constantly updated based on changing world conditions.

“One of our newer scripts was talking about the things President Trump has done in terms of coronavirus. He recognized the problem long before anyone else and closed off immigration from China in January. He’s going to have a vaccine on the market in less than a year,” Richmond said. “Recently a point that we emphasize on the script is how much of a friend President Trump has been for Israel. I ask them to consider that Trump has moved the embassy when no one else did.”

As for down-ballot races, this week the RJC launched an $800,000 TV and direct mail advertisement buy to reelect New York Congressman Lee Zeldin.

“He’s been a critical voice in the House for the Jewish community, and we feel it important to make sure he is reelected,” Markstein said.

… With an estimated 10% of the Jewish electorate remaining undecided on their vote, Markstein said those voters should look at the record on issues such as the economy, Israel and antisemitism before making their decision.

“Regardless of your party affiliation,” he said, “just get out and vote.”

Have you voted yet? Make sure you vote! And if you voted by mail, make sure your vote was received and counted. You can use this interactive tool to learn how to check the status of your ballot. 


Be Part of the RJC Action!

Our amazing RJC volunteers have made over 475,000 voter contacts for this election cycle and made 33,033 contacts just last week. This week we’re pushing to break 50,000 contacts, and we need your help! No matter where you are, you can make calls from home and help us reach out to potential Jewish voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, key battleground states of the 2020 election cycle.

Every day from now until Election Day is a National Day of Action.* We're encouraging Jewish voters to get out and support President Trump and our terrific GOP candidates for the Senate and House.

Please join us! Every call makes a difference!



* Calls are not made during the Jewish Sabbath.

Republican Jewish Coalition | 50 F Street, N.W., Suite 100 | Washington, DC 20001
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