A new political action committee aims to mobilize ethnic voters on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin via social media platforms including WhatsApp, Telegram and WeChat, as some polls point to an intensified race against Democratic governor Kathy Hochul.
“Take advantage of the outrage,” Stop the Insanity’s Chapin Fay said of channeling the power of issues like bail reform to poach moderate voters away from Democrats ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“Communicate the common values you share with Lee Zeldin,” he added, in a bid to garner support for the conservative Zeldin.
Vanessa Simon has resigned her position as Secretary of State for the Republican Party to lead the new PAC as Executive Director.
Recent election cycles have shown groups like Hispanics, Asian Americans and Orthodox Jews drifting to the right as some Democrats advocated police defunding and bail reform in the face of rising crime and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats have faced backlash in such groups in recent years over contentious issues like high school entrance exams and COVID-19 restrictions, which benefited Zeldin in his bid to become New York’s first GOP governor-elect in two decades could come.
“Print and TV ads are expensive, so campaigns are turning to text messaging, WhatsApp, YouTube and other digital communication strategies for their lower costs and greater targeting efficiency,” said political adviser Dr. Basil Smikle, Jr. to The Post.
“They are useful for everything from donations to [get out the vote efforts] but only for populations that really trust the technology,” he added.
The Stop the Insanity PAC has so far amassed more than $200,000 to support ongoing efforts by the political right to help Zeldin run against Hochul, who reported having $11.7 million in mid-July compared with $1.57 million for Zeldin.
While small compared to Hochul’s war chest, six numbers can buy a lot of targeted digital reach when paired with the help of campaign leaders, which Fay said Stop the Insanity would use on behalf of its pro-Zeldin messages .
“Personally, I don’t think the most helpful thing is to raise a lot of money and move it off TV, nationally or even in New York City,” he said.
Stop the Insanity’s efforts have a near-term goal of helping Zeldin and former Newsmax host Joe Pinion — the GOP nominee against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — win 30% of the vote in super-blue New York City, a highly visible threshold for a winning Republican campaign nationwide.
Fay said efforts will continue beyond Election Day to build left-centre support for Republican causes.
Another recently formed PAC, backed by former GOP state chairman Ed Cox, former Rep. John Faso and political agent Jason Weingartner, is also developing plans to support Zeldin’s efforts to gain the Democrats’ two-for-one advantage to overcome registered voters.
“He’s not going to keep up with Kathy Hochul’s special interest money,” state Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy said Monday of Zeldin catching up with Hochul amid allegations that her government was giving preferential treatment to campaign donors.
The incumbent Dem has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, claiming her prolific fundraising was necessary to secure her political standing over the past year after replacing the disgraced ex-government. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned amid a host of scandals.
“We’re using every tool in our arsenal to be fully integrated into Lee’s campaign. He’ll be carrying his message throughout the fall,” Langworthy added of Republicans’ efforts to coordinate a response to Hochul’s continued national media blitz.
The dueling parties have gone toe-to-toe in polls flattering their respective candidates over the past few days – with a six-point lead for Hochul over Zeldin in a poll suggesting the race could be closer than the Democrats expected.
In addition to Zeldin, who recently campaigned alongside Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, Republican candidates have also kept an eye on and offline voters who may have been overlooked by previous political candidates.
Representatives of the Hochul and Zeldin campaigns could not comment on their own efforts to reach voters in immigrant communities at the time of publication
“If campaigns don’t use WhatsApp and WeChat programs, they’re missing an opportunity,” political adviser Camille Rivera said in a text. “This is becoming the most common forms of engagement between Latinos and communities. It’s easy to complain and becomes a common form of communication
https://nypost.com/2022/09/12/pro-zeldin-pac-targeting-ethnic-voters-via-social-media/ Pro-Zeldin PAC targets ethnic voters via social media