The Republican Party is holding up the privately-funded Republican Jewish Coalition as a role model for the kind of outreach that the party must undertake in order to expand its voter base and increase its chances of winning future presidential elections.
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The 100-page “Growth and Opportunity Project” aimed at dissecting the reasons for the Republican loss in the 2012 election and published yesterday states: “We have to work harder at engaging demographic partners and allies. One outside group that has been particularly successful at engaging its community and increasing its Republican support is the a. We should incorporate some of its tactics in our efforts.”
The RJC - which is backed by casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who also sits on its board of directors – is a hard-hitting, right wing conservative group that sponsored some of the harshest attacks against US President Barack Obama, in both the 2008 and 2012 election campaigns. Together with the like-minded Emergency Committee for Israel, the RJC also led the recent controversial campaign against former Senator Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Secretary of Defense.
Reacting to the commendation of the five-member fact-finding team that carried out the “autopsy”, as Republican Chairman Reince Priebus described it yesterday, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement posted on the group’s website: “The RJC is proud and honored to receive this acknowledgement of our hard work. In 2012, a very challenging year for Republicans across the board, the Jewish vote for the Republican presidential candidate jumped almost 50 percent, from 22 percent in 2008 to 32 percent in 2012. That ten-point gain was the largest gain since 1972.”
Brooks said, “Republicans have increased their market share in the Jewish community in five of the last six national elections. The RJC believes that our Republican message, coupled with our aggressive and effective outreach and education efforts, will continue to bring the Jewish community into the Republican Party in greater numbers in the future.”
The report, released in Washington Sunday, included 219 recommendations aimed at overcoming the Republican Party’s consistent losses in recent presidential elections and the turning of the demographic tide which will make its task even more difficult in the future. Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was one of the members of the panel that composed the report.