The Republican Jewish Coalition is targeting Jewish voters, among others, in a door-to-door campaign to help keep the two currently Republican Georgia Senate seats and prevent Democrats from controlling the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
Jews may not be the most crucial support block for either political party, but every voter is a target for the upcoming senatorial elections in January that will determine the control of the chamber.
Sam Markstein, RJC’s national political director, said there are at least 120,000 registered Jewish voters in Georgia, so any shift, given the November election margins, “could make the difference in a close race.”
With a week of action that started Dec. 13, the RJC focused on mobilizing voters in the North metro Atlanta area to secure the Senate seats as well as the public service commissioner post up for grabs.
Markstein described the week of action as “targeting Jewish voters in key suburban Atlanta counties. We’ve knocked on thousands of doors just in the first couple of days.”
The January election has already brought big names to the state with many potential 2024 Republican candidates coming too, as well as President Donald Trump, who visited last week, and President-elect Joe Biden who came Tuesday.
While some, generally more Democratic groups, have held back on door-to-door canvassing due to the coronavirus, the RJC views the technique as key to their voter outreach and have implemented a variety of protocols to ensure the safety of both volunteers and the voters they are contacting. Those steps include hand sanitizing, mask usage and social distancing in both training and door-knocking.
Having reached hundreds of thousands of voters during the general election through mailers, texts, and calls, the RJC hopes to convince Jewish voters in the state to support the Republican candidates.
About 50 volunteers met early Dec. 13 for training at local Republican offices before heading out to canvas the Northern metro neighborhoods.
Chuck Berk, who co-chairs the local chapter of the RJC with his wife Bonnie, was one of the volunteers for the week of action. He said he believes in the importance of “split government and that the Republicans need to hold the Senate [to stop a] liberal and progressive agenda, … to be a check and balance.” Berk said he wants to “educate people…[about] the actual comments Raphael Warnock has made that have been anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.”
With the start of early voting in Georgia Dec. 14, the RJC’s Markstein said, “it was a good time to get out and remind voters that they can vote now and avoid the lines on election day.”