The Republican Jewish Coalition is ringing alarm bells about the fall election but it refuses to point the finger at the man likely to be on top of the ticket.
In fact, they refuse to mention Donald Trump by name at all.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat this: we could lose our Republican majority in the Senate,” warned RJC executive director Matt Brooks in an email blast sent Thursday to donors and activists.
Fundraising pitches tend to be alarmist by nature, but Brooks and the RJC took an especially dire tone when describing what Republicans could be facing in November.
“[It] would be disastrous for us because it would mean no more challenges to Obamacare, confirming a radical Supreme Court justice, and worst of all, fewer pro-Israel Senators standing up for our strongest ally,” he wrote.
Losing the Senate majority has been a concern of Republicans for a while. With Donald Trump looming as the possible nominee, these concerns intensified, as polls show Trump losing by a wide margin to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
A Trump nomination could lead many Republicans, especially those aligned with the moderate wing of the party, like most Jewish GOP voters, to stay home on Election Day, possibly swinging control of the Senate to Democrats.
But RJC communication director, Mark McNulty suggested Trump is not necessarily the reason behind the group’s fundraising appeal.
“Each and every election cycle is important. This one especially so for Republicans,” he said. “We intend to protect that majority by informing the Jewish communities in competitive senate races that electing Democrats means a less safe Israel and more appeasement of Iran.”
RJC listed 5 Senate seats it feels are at stake: New Hampshire, where Republican Kelly Ayotte will face governor Maggie Hassan in a race described by most pollsters as a tossup; Rob Portman’s tough reelection bid in Ohio; Wisconsin, where Republican senator Ron Johnson will face a rematch against Russ Feingold, a Jewish Democrat who lost his seat to Johnson in 2010 and is now holding a slight advantage in polls in his attempt to win it back; Illinois’ Mark Kirk, who is trailing in polls behind Democrat Tammy Duckworth; and Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey who has only a small lead over Democrat Katie McGinty in a tough reelection campaign.
“Bottom line: we cannot afford to let that happen,” Brooks concludes his email, “that is why your next decision is pivotal.”
Nathan Guttman staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Contact Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @nathanguttman