NEW YORK—A half million dollar campaign launched today to invigorate support for Barack Obama’s presidential bid amongst persuadable Jewish voters will offer an innovative bundling of communications technology that exists nowhere else in the political world.
JewsVote.org, the central repository for pro-Obama messaging in the Jewish community, aims to countervail the rumor campaign that spread through Jewish networks during the primary season, which resulted in an unprecedented number of undecided Jewish voters.
“JewsVote.org will turn the tide on these spurious rumors using the same personal networks used to propagate them, by arming Obama’s supporters not just with accurate information, but with a set of cutting edge tools that enables them to get the word out further and faster,” said Mik Moore, co-founder and co-executive director of JewsVote.org.
The site’s revolutionary interface will enable users to upload their email-based contacts to build a personal voter file to which they can then send customized emails. It also features tailored talking points for phone banking and lets users place advertisements in newspapers of their choosing and organize meetings of undecided voters in key swing states. JewsVote.org will also allow users to create and share their own content for distribution, building ever expanding and responsive messaging that reflects the breadth and depth of support for Obama within the Jewish community.
“As sophisticated as political marketing has become, there is still no more effective means of mobilizing political support than personal outreach from someone you know. JewsVote.org takes this fundamental principle of political organizing to the next level,” said Moore’s partner, Ari Wallach, who is also the project’s co-founder and co-executive director.
Recent polls show Barack Obama with 60 percent of Jewish support, a low number when compared to the average of 76 percent that the more progressive presidential candidates have received in the 21 elections between 1924 and 2004. In fact, none of the more conservative candidates have ever mustered more than 40 percent of the Jewish vote, while more than half received less than 20 percent.
While Jews comprise less than than 3 percent of the U.S. population, some 80 percent are not only registered to vote, but actually do so at twice the rate of the typical voter. In certain swing states, Jewish votes could make a significant difference between victory and defeat.
“Obama’s positions on a range of issues are closely aligned with those of most Jews and his life story of achievement through hard work and education has great resonance in the community,” said Moore. “On the other hand, the McCain/Palin ticket should raise nothing but red flags in the Jewish community, with their reference to the war in Iraq as an act of God, their anti-choice platform and their unabashed courting of the Christian right.”
JewsVote.org is a project of the Jewish Council for Education & Research, a federal political action committee created to develop and disseminate information to voters in the United States around issues of concern to the Jewish community.
Last Thursday, in advance of the formal launch of JewsVote.org’s online advertising tool this week, JCER published a centerfold ad in the Detroit Jewish News, signed by more than 1,000 Detroit-area Jews. The headline of the ad read: “We are Michigan Jews Who Support Barack Obama & Joe Biden: Here are Reasons You Should Too.” The ad lists the candidates’ stances on Israel’s security, the Iran threat, ending the Iraq war, the economy and healthcare amongst other issues, which resonate widely within the Jewish community.
“This is the first of many locally driven ads we expect to see in communities large and small across the country with the launch of the advertising tool or JewsVote.org. It will make the entirety of the placement process—from design to print—accessible to even the most casual internet user,” said Wallach, “There is something uniquely compelling about ads generated by people you know, who you run into in the grocery store, in your synagogue and at your kids’ school picnics. They know you personally and know what is at stake for you in this election.”
In 2008, JCER is supporting Sen. Barack Obama for president and six other Congressional candidates who share the American Jewish community’s core public values: a robust First Amendment, equal rights for all, broad-based economic and educational opportunity, cultural liberalism, vigilance in the face of oppression, respect for the natural world, a strong but not belligerent foreign policy, and support for Israel.