Every presidential election, there is talk of how the Jewish vote will shake out, and efforts by each party to grab more votes than they normally do.
The fight for the Jewish vote is more of a hunt-and-peck search for disgruntled voters, considering that Mr. Obama won more than 70 percent of votes among Jews in 2008, according to exit polls. But with an estimated 600,000 Jewish voters in Florida, a critical swing state, Democratic leaders said they were not taking the constituency for granted, and they acknowledged a need to increase enthusiasm among Jews before November.
“They figure if they shave off a few points here and a few points there in the Jewish population through lying and distortions, they can win,” said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. “But they can’t dress themselves up to be something appealing to the Jewish community when they aren’t.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition, the party’s leading outreach group for Jewish voters, has spent months developing a campaign to find like-minded voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the three swing states with the largest Jewish populations. It is the most extensive electoral effort undertaken by the group.
“We don’t need to get a majority of the vote to win,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “When we take votes away from Democrats, we are taking votes from a key part of their constituency.”