For more than a century, the GOP has had a hard time pulling in the Jewish vote. But in a move demonstrating just how close Republicans expect the 2012 election to be, the GOP isn’t leaving any constituencies to chance—even those living abroad. The Republican Jewish Coalition announced Monday that its board of directors, together with former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleicher, are headed next week to Israel to encourage Jewish Americans living abroad to register to vote just in time for the presidential election. The Republican group hopes American voters living in Israel might help the GOP gain an edge among Jewish voters in the U.S.
The RJC estimates that roughly 150,000 U.S. citizens and eligible voters are living in Israel, including many from key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. “I’m proud to be part of this advocacy initiative,” Fleischer said in a release announcing the trip to Israel. “It’s a long flight, but when you think about Israel being home to 150,000 American voters, it’s also the equivalent of visiting Dayton, Ohio or Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to get out the message.”