Despite a loss of support for President Barack Obama among Jewish voters due to his Middle East policies, top-level Jewish fundraisers from his 2008 campaign are staying with the president in 2012.
But their level of success in raising money remains to be seen.
In the last presidential election campaign, Obama’s elite “bundlers” — fundraisers who collected more than $500,000 each for his campaign — included many prominent Jews.
With the exception of those who hold government jobs and are barred from political fundraising, all of them have returned on the 2012 campaign’s list of volunteer bundlers, or are confirmed to be fundraising for the campaign, the Jewish publication Forward reports.
Several new prominent Jewish bundlers have joined the group as well.
Republican-affiliated groups including the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Republican Jewish Coalition have sought to weaken Obama’s support among American Jews due to his policies on Israel and Iran. Remarking on Obama’s Jewish fundraisers, RJC executive director Matthew Brooks told Forward: “These people are the committed of the committed. The question is what success do these people have when they go to their Rolodex and try to get contributions?”
And American Council for World Jewry Chairman Jack Rosen, who hosted a fundraiser attended by the president in November, admitted, “I think it’s a challenging time to do fundraising. In the Jewish community, it may not only be the fact that many Jews are concerned about the U.S.-Israel relationship, but also the economy. I can’t say that it wasn’t difficult getting people to contribute.”
Republicans have accused Obama of coddling Iran and being more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the Israelis.
A Gallup poll in September showed Obama’s support among Jews at 54 percent, and a survey by the American Jewish Council that month put the figure at just 45 percent.
In 2008, 78 percent of Jewish voters supported Obama against John McCain.