Outspent 13 to 1, Bottom Line Marketing Group Helps Bob Turner Win 70% of Jewish Vote in Congressional Campaign


yitzchok-saftlasRecognized by national media as “a major upset victory,” Bob Turner won the NY 9th Congressional seat early this morning. According to today’s New York Daily News, “Republican Bob Turner scored a ‘shocking victory’ late Tuesday night to capture ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat.”  The Post called it an “upset victory,” explaining, “The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.”

The contest garnered national attention as partisan operatives and pundits cast it as a referendum on the increasingly unpopular Obama – who won the district with 55% of the vote in 2008.

How did Bob Turner, a businessman from Queens with no political experience, channel voter discontent with President Obama into an upset, win election to Congress, in this heavily Democratic district in New York City?

According to Yitzchok Saftlas, President of Bottom Line Marketing Group, who oversaw the strategy to win over Orthodox Jewish voters (who represent about 1/3 of the voters in the ninth district), “There are many factors that help determine the outcome of an election. The accuracy of polling data, insights into the voters, putting boots on the ground to generate grassroots support, endorsements from key individuals and effective media marketing.”

All these elements certainly came into a play in the Turner race, an election that no-one – Democrats or Republicans – expected Bob Turner to win.

Understanding what voters are thinking is the real secret behind successful campaigns.  And the key to getting that information is polling.  John McLaughlin and his firm, McLaughlin & Associates, handled the survey research and polling for the Turner campaign. Their survey results offered the campaign stunning insights into the minds of voters in the 9th district.  The data provided clear evidence that disenchantment with President Obama’s treatment of Israel and his handling of the economy could be leveraged into wedge issues to get Republicans, Independents and even Democrats to vote for Bob Turner.

Mr. Saftlas says, “Bottom Line’s job was to take that raw data and use it to craft a creative and effective message that would hit voters right between the eyes, shake them up and get them to go out and vote in a special election that typically only gets a 10% turnout at the polls.”  One of the core messages of the Turner campaign developed by Bottom Line was, “Obama threw Israel under the bus…it’s time to send a message to Washington.”  The message was so compelling, it would be repeated by the candidate and others, including former Mayor Ed Koch and Congressman Peter King during interviews and speeches.  In fact, the materials made such an impact that they were featured in the Sunday edition of the New York Post.

To get out the Turner message to voters, Bottom Line Marketing Group developed the messaging of the campaign materials, including direct mail, newspaper advertising, online banner ads and even bus signage. The materials also leveraged key valuable endorsements from: Mayor Rudy Giuliani, State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Mayor Ed Koch and Governor George Pataki. A number of newspapers, including the NY Daily News, NY Post, Yated Neeman and Hamodia, and Jewish news websites, including Matzav.com and TheYeshivaWorld.com, either openly endorsed Bob Turner, or at least embraced Turner’s platform.  Yochanon Dunn from Hamodia was very early to spot the important signals in this race, while Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, editor of the Yated, wrote a brilliant and insightful feature, strongly emphasizing the importance of sending a message to Washington by voting for Bob Turner.

In addition, many prominent community members were of invaluable assistance for the Turner campaign, including: Abraham Biderman, Rabbi Yosef Friedman, Jonathan Halpert, Aron Hirtz, Shimon Lefkowitz,  Chaskel Bennett among others.

It was also Bottom Line’s responsibility to provide strategic guidance and help tailor the language in marketing materials, from bus signage to direct mail, for the Orthodox Jewish community.  This sensitivity even extended to guiding the campaign on the cultural nuances within the Jewish community. An example would be ensuring that the Turner campaign avoided making automated “robo-calls” to Jewish homes on Saturday.

Another key to the election was being able to identify and segment the voters in the district.  There is an art and a science to “micro-targeting.” For the Turner campaign, Mr. Saftlas spent hours poring over 5 different maps detailing hundreds of EDs (Election Districts) to identify the Orthodox Jewish and traditional Jewish voters that would be receptive to Mr. Turner’s message.  Ultimately, this data was used as the basis for developing the targeted mailing list for sending campaign direct mail, as well as for “walk lists” for the campaign.

Naturally, any successful campaign must rely on the talent and dedication of a large number of people.  Mr. Turner had the good fortune to have E. O’Brien Murray (aka “OB”) as his campaign manager. “OB” put together a great team and ran an extraordinary campaign with limited resources.  Bill O’Reilly of Nicholas & Lence Communications LLC, deftly handled the public relations for the campaign. Jonathan Shenker ran the grassroots and GOTV operation for the outreach effort to the Jewish community while Eddie Caroll handled scheduling and Matt Turner, the candidate’s son played a key role as well. John Rogers, the regional political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee played a key role as well.

What are Mr. Saftlas’ closing thoughts on the campaign?  “It was a thrill ride every step of the way.  Especially once we reached a certain “tipping point” in the campaign and started to feel traction with voters and momentum with the messaging.  We are grateful to Mr. Turner, Mr. Murray and Mr. Rogers for giving Bottom Line Marketing Group the opportunity to play a decisive role in this historic campaign.”

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Kudos to Yitzchak Saftlas and all the guys at Bottom Line!

    Don’t give credit to the self proclaimed “askanim” (sic) who like microphones and writing articles about things they no little about. You guys at Bottom Line can take the credit.

  2. Yasher koach.

    Ezra Friedlander and Zev Brenner tried to give Weprin the seat by featuring Weprins (David and family members, such as his mother, wife, and brother) on the Jewish radio airwaves frequently (Friedlander is Brenner’s producer and was hired by Weprin). Another radio personality also pushed Weprin.

    It shows that the people are not as stupid as some think.

  3. Yitzy, as always, you did a great great job! I didn’t know you were involved with Turner. Keep up the good work you do on behalf of Kllal Yisroel. Bracha Vehatzlacha! See you on Shabbos.

  4. time to focus on getting rid of obama in 2012 from the white house and debbie wasserman shultz from florida ! hey are nothng but communists who hate israel!

  5. I’m sure Bottom Line marketing did a great job. But I think the bottom line was that our community didn’t want to support a candidiate who represented the Obama/toeiva left wing agenda.

  6. I hope there are other Republicans running for other offices that can contract for this helpful service. One Democrat defeated is only one.

  7. The headline should read, “Orthodox Jewish vote.” There are not very many non-frum Jews left in Brooklyn. They’re all either in Manhattan or out on Long Island or Staten Island.

  8. The key to this as a harbinger for Obama is how many Jews of whatever sort continue to identify with Israel. The Jews who sunk Weprin’s candidacy were not only the Orthodox.