So I’m at the DNC training session on Jewish outreach in Charlotte.
There are two central messages:
–Jews could conceivably sway this election.
Ira Forman, who runs Jewish outreach, posted a chart showing potential swings in swing states if President Obama’s Jewish share drops from 75 to 65 percent. (He noted that the most recent Gallup tracking has Obama ahead — 68 percent — then where he was at the same time in 2008, 61 percent.)
The swing in some states — 83,500 votes in Florida, 19,000 in Ohio — could make the difference.
–Volunteers could make the difference, and they should follow a simple formula:
1) Talk to friends, colleagues, fellow congregants, family;
2) Don’t try to sway the convinced, work on the undecideds;
3) Start with Israel (and Forman, Alan Solow, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz outlined an array of tools to push back against impressions that Obama is cool on Israel.);
4) Then move to domestic policy — health crae, the economy, social issues.
5) Tell personal stories. (Wasserman Schultz recounted her breast cancer scare: "I was one job loss away from being uninsured and uninsurable." Forman said he campaigned for Jimmy Carter in 1976, but could not support him in 1980, because of his Israel policy — but he was dedicating much his life now to reelecting Obama.)
The two messages combined with the emphasis on Israel is interesting — Democrats note that Jewish voters for the most part do not take Israel into account when they go into the voting booth.
That holds, but what this training session suggests is that the critical swing voters, the undecideds, do have Israel on their minds as they contemplate their pick.
Here’s a video volunteers were urged to use to reinforce Obama campaign talking points: