The PJ Tatler

J Street Fundraising for Dems with Focus on Four Tight Senate Races

The J Street PAC is trying to raise funds to push Democrats to victory in two of the tightest Senate races in the country.

In the latest Real Clear Politics poll average, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) takes a slim, statistically insignificant lead of 0.8 points over Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). In a Quinnipiac poll earlier this month, Gardner bested Udall by 8 points.

In the race to fill retiring Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) seat, state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) has a small lead of 2.2 points in the latest Real Clear Politics polling average on Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa).

In an email to supporters of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization, J Street political director Dan Kalik calls Udall and Braley “two of J Street’s strongest allies on the Hill.”

“We can’t afford to lose these two races,” Kalik writes. “Mark’s opponent has spoken out strongly against President Obama’s diplomatic effort to halt Iran’s nuclear program. Bruce’s opponent has called on Congress to defund the Palestinian Authority.”

“If Mark and Bruce don’t have the resources they need in these last few weeks, you can expect their opponents’ dangerous, neoconservative ideas to gain momentum in the Senate.”

The email asks for $18 donations ahead of Tuesday’s “crucial” FEC quarterly fundraising deadline.

J Street has also been fundraising for Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who is getting hit on foreign policy issues from former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R).

“It’s bad enough when any senator from New Hampshire has the reputation of a partisan follower,” Brown said in a speech last week. “But when our senator, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, just goes along like another naïve follower of Barack Obama, missing obvious realities and opportunities to lead in the current security environment – that’s when you’ve really got to worry.”

Nunn, the former CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, has come under fire for the fact that the charity encouraged donations to Islamic Relief USA, the U.S. affiliate of World Islamic Relief that has been banned in Israel for supporting Hamas.

A campaign memo leaked over the summer showed the Nunn campaign’s strategy for courting the Jewish community.

“Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here,” the memo said. “There is tremendous financial opportunity, but the level of support will be contingent on her position. This applies not only to PACs, but individual donors as well.”