Jewish GOP group reports ground game | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Jewish GOP group reports ground game 

The battle for Wisconsin voters will be fierce, and the Republican Jewish Coalition reports it is ready. 

“We have what I would argue is the best data operation in Jewish politics,” said Sam Markstein, the organization’s national political director, in an interview with the Chronicle. “We’ve made significant investments in the data operations to make sure that the voters that we’re targeting are Jewish.” 

In the past, he said, there was more guesswork in finding Jewish voters. Just a few out of every 10 voters contacted might be Jewish. 

“Now, when we go to 10 doors, about eight or nine of them are Jewish and that makes a significant difference. When you’re actually sending volunteers out or spending money on paid media, to talk to the wrong people is a waste of money,” he said. 

Asked whether Wisconsin’s Jewish population — which is estimated at about 30,000 — is enough to matter, Markstein replied with the sort of thinking that might just as easily have come from a Democratic strategist.   

“It might be small, but it’s mighty in the sense that electorally it makes up about 1 to 2% of the presidential and lower ballot voting electorate,” he said. “In a state that in 2020 was decided by less than a point, it could very well be the decisive group of voters in the decisive state, and determine whether it’s going to be Trump or Biden in 2024.” 

The margin of victory in Wisconsin in 2016 was 22,748 votes in favor of Donald Trump, who won the state over Hillary Clinton. In 2020, it was 20,682 votes in favor of Joe Biden, who won the state over Donald Trump. Wisconsin’s total population is nearly 5.9 million, with about 3.5 million registered voters.  

“It’s going to be a really contested space,” Markstein said. “It is one of the key battlegrounds in the country. And I think that given the competitiveness of the state over the years, it’s going to be one of those places where every single door knock, phone call, text message and the like goes the furthest.” 

The Republican Jewish Coalition may be the most active, best funded voice for Jewish Republicans nationwide. It was founded in 1985. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who died in 2021, was a major benefactor for the group. 

Officials estimate that 50,000 delegates and others will attend or engage in activities connected with the Republican National Convention, slated for July 15-18 in Milwaukee. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the 2024 Republican National Convention to Milwaukee,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, in a news release. “Our city is ready to show the world we are open for business, conventions, and tourism. The presidential nomination convention is a historical opportunity to present what a phenomenal place Milwaukee truly is.” 

Plans are still in the works for the Republican Jewish Coalition’s participation at the Republican National Convention. 

“We had a very robust presence at the 2016 convention in Cleveland,” Markstein said, and he predicted a similarly strong presence in Milwaukee.  

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For more on politics, click here “Democrats gear up with new Jewish group.”