web analytics
September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Focus On Florida’s Jewish Community As GOP Presidential Primary Approaches


Republican-Race-012712

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama won’t show up on the vote tallies after polls close in Florida’s Republican primary on Jan. 31, but the president’s supporters already are waging a fight for the Sunshine State.

Democrats are rolling out a campaign to rival any of the GOP candidates, with a particular focus on the state’s substantial Jewish community.

Democratic officials said that volunteers in Florida already had made nearly 600,000 calls to supporters and conducted thousands of training sessions, many of them focusing on the Jewish community, 10 months before the general election. The Obama campaign has opened nine offices in the state.

“Florida is the most significant battleground state, and will be in 2012,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, in a conference call Monday with the Jewish media.

Wasserman Schultz said Jewish surrogates were targeting communities across the state, defending Obama’s Israel record as well as emphasizing differences on health care and social issues, like abortion.

The rollout was planned months ago, well before Newt Gingrich’s stunning upset win Saturday in the South Carolina GOP primary buried the notion of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, as the party’s front-runner. The latest polls from Florida show Gingrich pulling ahead of Romney by 7 to 9 percentage points; just a week earlier Romney had enjoyed double-digit leads in the state’s polls.

Florida is a testing ground because it is the first large and diverse primary state, said Nancy Ratzan, a former president of the National Council of Jewish Women who is now active in the Democratic Party.

“Florida is more reflective of what they’re going to find in other parts of the country,” she said.

Romney and Gingrich head into Florida with few holds barred, each striving to identify the other as a member of the “elites” reviled by the Republican base.

A Romney ad released Monday accused Gingrich of making money off the financial crisis by taking money from a government-backed mortgage company. It said that the former speaker of the House of Representatives and Georgia congressman was a Washington “insider.”

Gingrich has depicted Romney as uncaring, drawing on his career as a venture capitalist. He also has seized on Romney’s tax returns, which show investments in the same government-backed mortgage company that paid Gingrich for consulting fees. Noam Neusner, a former domestic policy adviser to President George W. Bush, said Gingrich had upended the race with his South Carolina victory and the battle for the nomination was now wide open.

Neusner, who has not endorsed a candidate, noted that Romney had won the “Jewish donors” primary, drawing the largest assemblage of Jewish supporters. But he noted that Gingrich was a known quantity among Jewish conservatives going back to his days as House speaker from 1995 to 1998.

Gingrich’s positions are “very similar to Romney’s and certainly very acceptable to Republican voters,” he said.

Tevi Troy, a deputy health secretary under President George W. Bush who now advises the Romney campaign, suggested – very delicately – that Gingrich’s mercurial personality would be an issue as the campaign rolls forward.

“You have to choose wisely about who the right candidate is,” Troy said. “Here you have a guy with strong leadership experience and in business, and has a good chance of beating President Obama and running a strong, competent foreign policy.”

Neusner acknowledged that “there’s a greater comfort level with a certain constancy of personality in Romney.”

“Gingrich is admired” for his intellect, Neusner said, “but there’s greater enthusiasm that Romney could do better in the general” election.

Both presidential hopefuls, as well as fellow candidate Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, have made Obama’s relationship with Israel a key target of their foreign policy campaigning.

“We’re very comfortable saying that so long as Barack Obama or Ron Paul are not the president, Israel will be a much safer place,” said Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the West Palm Beach Republican Party who has not endorsed a candidate.

Dinerstein said that Republican Jews were too small a constituency to expect to be courted intensely in the primary, which is open only to registered Republicans. But that will change ahead of the general election, he said, when he expects the eventual Republican candidate to draw Jewish independents and centrist Democrats because of Obama’s Israel record.

The Republican National Committee has identified Florida as a swing state with a substantial Jewish population where Jewish votes could make the difference, according to an activist who saw an RNC memo late last year. The memo listed Jewish voters in the state as numbering 450,000, which seems to comport with figures from Jewish groups that estimate the state’s overall Jewish population at 640,000. Other such states listed in the memo were Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada, according to the activist.

The importance of Florida’s Jewish vote is one area where there is bipartisan agreement. Obama proxies in Florida include Wasserman Schultz and Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman who now heads the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Focus On Florida’s Jewish Community As GOP Presidential Primary Approaches”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.
Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas
Latest News Stories
O.J. Simpson is converting to Islam. He was charged in 1994 with nearly decapitating his ex-wife.

O.J. Simpson is converting to Islam. He was charged with his ex-wife’s murder in 1994. She was nearly decapitated.

Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.

Rockets and violence over diplomacy and passivity is the Palestinian Arab ruling style of choice, as reflected in a PCPSR poll.

Lady Gaga defies BDS  again with a show in Tel Aviv  on Sept. 13, 2014.

Maybe Abbas should accuse Lady Ga-Ga of incitement for saying “Shalom.”

British Jew Neil Masterson allegedly punched anti-Semitic MP George Galloway in the face.

The prosecutor says Masterson told police, “I didn’t want him to think I’m scared.”

Honey cake, gourmet honey, flavored honey, and honey as a recipe in chicken, and even fish, are all expected to contribute to soaring sales of honey this Rosh Hashanah and holiday season. Ironically, the US Department of Agriculture is conducting hearings to define honey or just how much honey is required to qualify for “pure […]

Abbas does not have to push agenda because he has the Obama administration is his spokesman.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has just released a video showing the beheading of another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, according to a monitoring group.

Cantor can thank his defeat to a Tea Party candidate for leading him to more lucrative and stable career.

Hamas won the war in political terms, but that won’t stop Kerry.

A farmer in the (legal) Tikkun Olan Cannabis farm near Tzfat. This is one of their greenhouses. The company is licensed by Israel’s Ministry of Health to grow, process and distribute the medicinal plant.

Israeli intelligence sparked a massive manhunt that foiled an Arab terror attack, caught two suspects and kept Israeli civilians safe.

The ‘Talansky affair’ corruption trial of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert re-opened today in Jerusalem.

Iran has successfully tested a new defensive radar and missile system, its air force chief announced Monday.

Diplomatic relations with Israel are likely to remain in deep freeze for the next few years, Turkish PM Davutoglu signals.

Events on the other side of Israel’s northern border are heating up. The IDF is on high alert in the Golan Heights.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/focus-on-floridas-jewish-community-as-gop-presidential-primary-approaches/2012/01/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: