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The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor. Don’t have grandparents in Florida? Not Jewish? No problem! You can still become a schlepper and make change happen in 2008, simply by talking to your relatives about Obama.
Everyone knows that Jews vote. By some estimates, 80% of Jews are registered to vote. Among registered voters, Jews tend to vote at twice the rate of the typical voter. In certain swing states, Jewish votes can make a significant difference between victory and defeat. In presidential elections, when choosing between a more progressive candidate and a more conservative candidate, Jews overwhelmingly choose the more progressive candidate. Between 1924 and 2004, Jews have given their vote to the more progressive candidates at an average rate of 76 percent. In fact, none of the more conservative candidates has ever mustered more than 40 percent of the Jewish vote, while more than half received less than 20 percent. Given this history, why is Barack Obama hovering at 60 percent of the Jewish vote, according to three separate polls? Is this all the product of a highly effective rumor campaign, spread through Jewish networks often by well-meaning individuals concerned that they information they received was true? Or is there something more?
The goal of JewsVote.org is to find out what is unsettling so many people in our community, those friends and family who have typically supported the more progressive candidate for president, and to convey to them why we are so excited about the possibility of an Obama presidency. JewsVote.org will take on the rumors using the same networks used to propagate them. To realize this ambitious goal, we created a sophisticated suite of tools. You can use any and all of them, for free. Want to make phone calls? User-generated call lists and logic trees of talking points will help you talk to your undecided friends and relatives. Hoping to start your own email campaign? JewsVote.org will let you choose among dozens of emails and with one click send them to your networks. Hoping to reach voters you can’t email or call? You can select and then place advertisements in the newspapers of your choosing. Are you a skilled facilitator or organizer? Organize a salon with undecided voters in a swing state, or get trained by JewsVote.org as a salon facilitator.
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. JCER is motivated by a deep love for the Jewish community and by a desire to ensure that Jews have access to all the information they need as they engage in the electoral process. 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.