Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lieberman to Bring Voters Back Home to Likud Beitenu

It's not that Naftali Bennett is so popular and is beating Netanyahu, it has more to do with Bennett overtaking Lieberman's role of alternative leader of the right since Israelis seem to have forgotten about Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Lieberman, the Likud Beitenu discovered. According to Likud’s recent internal polls, around 21 percent of respondents didn’t know Lieberman was still contending for a Knesset seat as the slate’s No. 2 candidate.

Party sources say the indictment against Lieberman apparently led many traditional Yisrael Beytenu voters to believe he could not run for the Knesset. As a result, the slate will highlight Lieberman over the next few days; a campaign video puts Lieberman front and center for the first time, and he is expected to join Netanyahu for a series of campaign stops and political meetings over the next 5 days.

“Lieberman is an important asset to Likud-Beiteinu,” a Likud source told Haaretz. “He can influence secular or traditional right-wing voters who in recent weeks have moved their support to [Habayit Hayehudi’s Naftali] Bennett and bring them back to supporting the party.”

Tomorrow, Netanyahu is expected to head a mass 2 hour long effort to phone undecided voters and persuade them to vote for the merged ticket of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu.