Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisive win in the Likud party primaries last week is an encouraging sign for the Likud as a whole and Netanyahu’s associates in particular.

Members of his inner circle believe that if Netanyahu wages a positive campaign leading up to the March 2 Knesset election, with plenty of time out in the field and without attacks on his political rivals, the party can win enough seats to enable it to form a governing coalition of 61 seats without Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party.

In another Likud development, party officials think that Netanyahu will appoint Foreign Minister Israel Katz as head of the Likud election committee after his success waging Netanyahu’s campaign in the primaries. As part of an attempt to bolster the party’s fieldwork, Likud ministers and Knesset members will be assigned specific areas of the country for which they will be responsible during the campaign.

Likud faction leader Miki Zohar told Israel Hayom that “the primaries were a great indication of how to win an election and how to get stronger ahead of the general election. We used two very clear strategies: A lot of time out in the field campaigning, which ‘woke up’ our side, as well as not attacking the opponent and nearly ignoring his existence. We saw in the primary results how that put a damper on the other side.”

According to Zohar, “Right now, the seat equation is difficult. There, voter turnout comes into play. We need to create a situation in which our bloc turns out to vote in very high numbers. … When it comes to the other side, we need to ignore his existence.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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