Steven Windmueller: Election 2012: Why Jews Are Likely to Be Key Players

Source: The NY Jewish Week, 12-10-10

The 2012 presidential election campaign has begun. Suspecting that the incumbent is vulnerable, Republicans are already beginning to position themselves to carry this campaign to voters early and often against the Obama Administration.

Jews will be seen as a key target for this effort. Several core factors will define the Jewish connection in this campaign cycle. Accessing early campaign money and embracing the Israel connection represent two elements that will be seen as pivotal the 2012 campaign and to Jewish support. Both parties, and more directly aspiring candidates, will be looking for financial assistance as a way to launch and to build their campaigns and to garner political endorsements.

Jews are seen as significant political funders. In the past Jewish donors have generated as much as 45 cents of every dollar raised by Democrats and provide a growing base of support for Republican candidates. As one commentator has suggested, “the primary emphasis in the Republican Party has not been to win Jewish votes but to attract major Jewish giving and, at a minimum, to deprive Democrats of that giving.”

Political funds are secured through outright gifts to politicians, contributions made to PAC’s, and support for political parties or commitments provided to advocacy organizations and political interest groups. As there are likely to be a number of candidates entering the presidential sweepstakes, there will likely be a “multiplier effect” as Jewish supporters aligned themselves with particular individuals spreading out Jewish financial and voter support….READ MORE

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