Republican Presidential Contenders to Court Donors and Affirm Israel Support at Significant Jewish GOP Assembly

by Ethan Kim
Republican Jewish Coalition 2024 GOP Candidates

Contenders for the Republican presidential nomination will vie for financial backers while declaring unwavering support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas. These candidates will make their case this weekend at the annual assembly of the influential Republican Jewish Coalition.

For years, the Coalition’s gathering in Las Vegas has served as an essential waypoint for Republican aspirants. It offers them an opportunity to appeal to Jewish voters while also aligning themselves firmly with Israel. This is a crucial issue for the party’s base, particularly among Christian evangelicals.

This year’s assembly begins on Friday amid heightened tensions, following an October 7 attack from Hamas on Israel. This recent conflict has not only escalated regional tensions but has also sparked debates within the United States, especially on college campuses. Subsequent to this attack, the Republican National Committee disclosed that the Republican Jewish Coalition would co-sponsor the third GOP presidential debate, set for November 8 in Miami.

The Israel-Hamas conflict has become a focal point on the campaign trail for Republican candidates. The response they receive at Saturday’s gathering could serve as an indicator of their standing in a race that has thus far been overwhelmingly influenced by former President Donald Trump.

Trump has enjoyed consistent approval from Coalition members in past years, often symbolized by the distribution of red yarmulkes adorned with his name. Longtime supporter and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who passed away in 2021, had been instrumental in swaying Coalition members towards Trump. Adelson’s widow, Miriam, continues to be a key donor but has pledged neutrality in the primaries.

“Candidates at this stage are well-known commodities, yet some attendees are still evaluating who to support,” notes Matt Brooks, the Coalition’s CEO.

While Trump claims unmatched support for Israel, including relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, he may face scrutiny due to his actions post-2020 election. The Coalition condemned the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection and praised Joe Biden’s election win, a victory that Trump has yet to acknowledge.

Despite controversies, Trump’s support within the party seems undiminished, and he maintains a sizable lead in primary polls. Other notable contenders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, have both emphasized their support for Israel in their campaigns.

The list of candidates also includes South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. New Speaker of the House Mike Johnson will also speak at the event, alongside other prominent Republicans like Steve Scalise, Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott, and John Thune.

For most of the GOP contenders, this will be their first campaign foray into Nevada, a state that traditionally receives minimal attention due to its perceived limited electoral significance. Three candidates, Pence, Haley, and Scott, have opted to bypass Nevada’s caucus, which is believed to favor Trump, to participate in the state-run primary.

Florida Governor DeSantis is also scheduled to speak to a Nevada GOP group on Saturday, separate from the Coalition event. Meanwhile, Trump is expected to address his supporters at a country music venue on Saturday afternoon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Republican Jewish Coalition 2024 GOP Candidates

What is the primary purpose of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual gathering?

The annual gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition serves as an important platform for Republican presidential hopefuls to court donors and articulate their support for Israel. The event is influential within Republican circles and is seen as an essential step for candidates looking to appeal to Jewish voters and Christian evangelicals who prioritize a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Who are the key players attending this year’s Republican Jewish Coalition gathering?

This year’s assembly will feature a lineup of Republican presidential candidates, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Additionally, new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and other notable Republicans like Steve Scalise, Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott, and John Thune are slated to speak.

Why is the Israel-Hamas conflict significant in this context?

The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas has become a focal point for Republican candidates on the campaign trail. The candidates are expected to offer strong statements supporting Israel during the gathering, which could serve as an indicator of their standing within the party.

How have recent controversies surrounding former President Donald Trump affected his standing with the Republican Jewish Coalition?

While former President Trump has claimed significant accomplishments in support of Israel, some controversies, such as his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden’s election win and his reactions post the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, could potentially affect his reception at the gathering. However, Trump still maintains a sizable lead in primary polls.

What role do donors play at this gathering?

Financial backers and donors are a key audience at the Coalition’s gathering. Miriam Adelson, widow of billionaire Sheldon Adelson, continues to be a major party donor but has pledged to remain neutral in the presidential primary. The candidates will be vying for the support of donors who are still evaluating who to back in the upcoming election.

How is the state of Nevada relevant to this year’s Republican Jewish Coalition gathering?

This event marks the first time most of the Republican candidates will campaign in Nevada, a state usually overlooked due to its limited electoral impact. However, Nevada is expected to be the third state to weigh in on the Republican primary field, making it a noteworthy stop for the candidates.

Are there any candidates who are bypassing Nevada’s caucus to participate in the state-run primary?

Yes, former Vice President Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott have opted to skip the Nevada caucus, which is perceived to favor Trump, to participate in the state-run primary instead.

More about Republican Jewish Coalition 2024 GOP Candidates

  • Republican Jewish Coalition Official Website
  • 2024 GOP Presidential Candidates
  • Recent Israel-Hamas Conflict Overview
  • Republican National Committee Announcements
  • Overview of U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem
  • January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection
  • GOP Primary Polls
  • Nevada Electoral Significance in Republican Primaries

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AnnaT October 28, 2023 - 7:31 pm

Didn’t realize that donors are such a big part of this. The Adelson family still holding sway even after Sheldon’s gone.

EmilyW October 28, 2023 - 8:18 pm

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are making moves! But they got big shoes to fill if they’re gonna take on Trump.

MikeL October 29, 2023 - 4:13 am

Trump still leading in the polls after everything that’s happened. Some things never change i guess.

SteveQ October 29, 2023 - 5:23 am

Matt Brooks’ comment about people “kicking the tires” on candidates kinda sums it up. Everyone’s shopping around for the next big GOP star.

RobertK October 29, 2023 - 1:54 pm

why is Nevada suddenly so important? i thought it was all about Iowa and New Hampshire in the primaries.

JohnDoe October 29, 2023 - 1:59 pm

Wow, so the RJC gathering is where the action’s at for GOP candidates, huh? Interesting how much of an influence this group has.

SarahM October 29, 2023 - 2:44 pm

This years Republican race is definitely heating up. curious how Trumps past controversies will affect his standing with the Coalition.


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