June 12th, 2008
08:20 AM ET
4 years ago

Analysis: Democrats woo disaffected evangelicals

Gore has ruled out a run for any office but President.
Gore has ruled out a run for any office but President.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Four years ago, Michael Farris was knee-deep in presidential politics.
Early in the 2004 primary season, he got a call from the Republican National Committee: Would he be willing to mobilize his grass-roots army on behalf of President Bush's re-election effort?

By May that year, his organization, Generation Joshua, was deep into fall planning mode. It had laid the groundwork for an ambitious turnout operation for the general election.

Action teams of young volunteers soon fanned out over the major swing states, spearheading get-out-the-vote efforts, part of an evangelical machine that kept the GOP competitive in the ground game unions and other Democratic groups typically dominate.

In one three-day span, the members of Generation Joshua knocked on more than 15,000 doors in the crucial state of Pennsylvania.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Great...so they've figured a way to sway the holy-rollers!!!

    On paper this may appear unique. But the Libertarian Party truly represents freedom of religion. If you're tired ot donating millions to two parties who only creat chisms in our society–then ignore this post.

    If you want real change that is based on our constitution and bill of rights–and free from the tainted special interests–vote Libertarian 2008.

    Bob Barr 2008, Libertarian and really, trully representing all Americans.

    Obama and McCain will surely reward their promoters–at the sacrifice of the rest of us. Lets make real change in Washington and elect a President who is really, trully above the cow-towing and financial leverage. Bob Barr 2008, Libertarian..the party of Patrick Henry!!!

    June 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. One Vote

    THE RETHUGLICANS TRY TO DISTORT OBAMA'S CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND... THEY ARE SCARED BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE THEY CAUSED BY MANIPULATING evangelical VOTERS IN 2004.... ANY RATIONAL PERSON CAN SEE THAT OBAMA LIVES AND WALKS BY HIS FAITH... HE HAS TO HAVE FAITH BEING A BLACK MAN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN AMERICA... DUHHHH

    OBAMA 08...

    June 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Keith

    I have been reading these blogs for months now and I just can't understand some people. For all you Hillary Clinton supporters that say your voting for McCain. Why would you vote for someone who has the exact opposite ideas for the country Hillary believed in. That makes absolutely no sense. Every time I hear that it just makes me sick. That kind of thinking is how we got where we are now. I have to believe Barack Obama's skin tone has alot to do with that thinking.
    Gimme a break people. Use your head. McCain will be worse than Bush. Imagine going to war with Iran in 2009.
    THINK.

    Obama. Period. No more stupid wars.
    A vote for John McCain is a vote for a war with Iran.

    June 12, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. David O

    Obama is the ONLY professed Christian in this election.

    He is the only Presidential candidate whose Christianity is a really not a FARCE (LIKE MOST REPUBLICANS).

    He is the only candidate who actually went to church services for 20 YEARS!

    Evangelicals KNOW that he is a Christian, and that his Christianity is not lip service like MOST members of the GOP...

    June 12, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Brian Knoxville, TN

    What a joke. The failed leadership of the undemocatic Democratic Party should be worrying more about wooing back its own base–all of us who have been loyal Democrats, voting for Democratic candidates and donating to them for years–all of us who have been so very badly served by the failed leaders of our own party.

    They betrayed the strongest candidate that the party had running.

    They betrayed the bedrock principles of our party upon which we communicate to our leaders and, indeed, chose them.

    Obama fans are supporting and funding yet another tyrannical and unaccountable regime, however much different the head that such a regime is rearing up in this manifestation might look.

    The failure of the leadership of the undemocatic Democratic Party will not take six years to fail (as it did for the Republicans under the Bush regime). We, the voices of the 18 million, will make sure that they fail in months, not years, and that when the failure is complete every last one of those failed leaders will be forced to resign from their positions and return our party to the people.

    PUMA PAC
    blog.pumapac.org

    June 12, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. shamous mc

    God said that we must make war on our enemies, that's the only way our enemies will learn. To do this we must wage war everywhere!
    Everyone is our enemy. McCain is doing God's work, bless him.
    Now this is going to cost us some money, lots of money, but that's ok, that's called sacrefice. We must sacrefice our money and the lives of those we draft to keep this holy battle alive. It's only money and it's only people, we can make more of both. Obama has no experience in matters of war and when he loses he and his followers will make great canon fodder. Experience matters, Bush has been president with 8 years of experience. That darn piece of paper called the constitution prevents another term, but McCain has learned from Bush and has the experience to keep the war machine oiled.

    June 12, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. Alanna

    Farrell, Houston, Tx June 12th, 2008 10:57 am ET

    I CALL FOR OUR GOVERNMENT TO STANDUP AND DENOUNCE THAT OBAMA IS MUSLIM. THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THE TRUTH, THEY'VE THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED HIM. BUSH HAS SHOKE HANDS WITH THE IRAQ PRESIDENT AND DECLARED HIM A FRIEND OF THE UNITED STATES, OBAMA AS AN AMERICAN MORE THAN DESERVES OUR GOVERNMENT TO TELL THE TRUTH.

    _______

    You know. I belive Obama has said as much about not being Muslim.

    But I guess some folks need it S P E L L E D O U T for them.

    June 12, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Loretta from California

    We need to go door to door too people. Let's not become too complacent in our efforts.

    June 12, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. LB

    MCain is for no women's rights. He thinks women should get paid less that a man does when doing the same job. The said women need more education (he thinks we're stupid). He thinks we shouldn't have the right to have an abortion. If it's our body, it is our right to decide not his or the governments right to choose. I may not agree with abortion, but I do agree it is the right of every female to make that choice as to what is best for herself and not be dictated to by government. Just as we all have the right to have any faith we so choose. McCain want our children to go to war for him but he doesn't want to pay for their education when they are done serving after 3 years. Didn't he get his education from being a Vet.

    June 12, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Jen

    Obama's just playing another "card" - this time the "faith card."

    And get over the Roe v Wade thing.

    Overturning Roe v Wade will never happen. This is 2008, not 1968. And since McCain is a moderate, as president he would likely appoint a “moderate” to the Supreme Court. And a moderate would not be interested in overturning Roe v Wade, either.

    Furthermore, McCain has stated clearly:” I will not appoint Supreme Court Justices just on their beliefs that Roe v Wade must be overturned. I will appoint Justices that are fair and free to interpret the Constitution as a rule of law that is fair and equal to all citizens of this great country with men, women and children all being equal.”

    By the way, can anyone provide an actual quote by Obama re. Roe v Wade?

    June 12, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Steve, Virginia

    I for one am an evangelical Christian who plans to vote for Obama, because I believe he'll actually be the BEST representative for us all as Americans. I'm afraid that some of the rather hair-trigger comments above do damage to the Christian faith by adopting an anti-intellectual approach to Obama and what he represents. The Anti-Christ because of the numerological signficance of his Chicago zipcode?! Please! Check out Mark Noll's excellent book, _The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind_, particularly his chapter entitled, "The Intellectual Disaster of Fundamentalism." A scathing indictment from a committed Christian concerned at what he sees in American Evangelicalism.

    June 12, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Alanna

    Brian from Knoxville

    No. You want to know what's a joke. Your puma pac website. That's a joke.

    June 12, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. NYC

    THE PEOPLE THAT LIE THE MOST WILL CALL OBAMA A LIER.

    June 12, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. What if?

    TO............Lisa June 12th, 2008 10:23 am ET
    Drop out Obama you can't win!!!! Give Hillary a shot so the Democrates can unite once again.
    --------------------------–
    Since she is NOTour nominee, Hillary is living her MILLIONAIRE style, VACATIONING in the sun, while voters like yourself, sit staled in time, concentrating on the ands, buts and what if….worry about gas prices, mortgage, food prices, health insurance, ect..…………………The world is moving forward WITH or WITHOUT You….I'm sure Hillary is thinking about you ever minute of the day.....of course.....

    YOUR’ER ARE INVITED TO ENJOY THE OBAMA RIDE.....

    June 12, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Chris from San Antonio

    Boo Hoo. The republican party is no longer controlled by the evangelicals. I could just cry.
    Maybe now we can get back to the principles of our Founding Fathers.

    June 12, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. voter from CT

    To Lisa, from a different blog, she says 30 bucks is a lot to some people, yeah that's smart Lisa, lets put hard working construction workers who are trying to make ends meat for their family out of a job this summer so you can save 30 dollars, way to go!

    June 12, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Agnostic Democrat

    Lisa:

    Keep your trap shut , your mind open and go read the Bible to see if there is a remote possibility you can educate your decrepit and withered brain with a mere shred of knowledge and enlightenment.
    Very unrealistic to expect progress from such ignorance but there always hope for lost causes. Have a wonderful life in your misery and suffering.

    June 12, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. Mick

    Just a couple of comments.
    Raymond Duke, just a fact-check that any 12-year-old could do on the internet: 1. His middle name is Hussein. So what? What's yours, Xenophobe? 2. His church former church was not radical anti-white. A large portion of the congregation is caucasian. 3. What do you define as "anti-American" statements? Anything that runs counter to the policies of the worst President in American history? If so, then I'm with him. 4 . He isn't friends with Ayers. He served on a Board of Directors with him – they barely know each other. 5. He has released his birth certificate – in fact it's on his web site in PDF format. 6. Fact – If you're a bigoted redneck with an IQ under 70, you should learn how to run a spell-check on a message before posting it on this board.

    June 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. jenkins

    No chance! Obama is so liberal and Michelle so filled with hate, and their religious affiliations so extreme that I cannot imagine serious people of faith going for this candidate.

    June 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. GOP --Voters are not stupid, please STOP

    This is for the GOP on their smear campaing on obama:
    Common sense: Do you think anyone can just get out there and say I want to be president without simple background checks? Employers do a background check on people and I am SURE the secret service and FBI must have cleared Obama before hanging out with him!!!!!

    This make me sick as it makes voters even look dumber! Simple facts... AND to think that this is an issue?

    June 12, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Bill Stapp

    It will not be long before President Obama can address the people of the United States, and indeed the entire world with his ideas of how to reach out to friends and enemies.

    Isn't this the Christian message? With whom did Jesus meet? Do evangelicals pay attention in church anymore?

    All that 'love your enemies' stuff must be for non-Christians only.

    I look forward to January 2009.... he should start writing his acceptance speech today.

    June 12, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Ex-Democrat in Iowa

    Just say No to Religion and Politics. Not everyone has a God or believes the same values.

    June 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Danny

    I am sorry Obama does not deserve single vote from evangelicals. Nobody knows what he is. He has a big mouth and he says he is Christian. I doubt it. He was brought up in Indonesia which is predominantly muslim nation. CNN should publish this.

    June 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Dr. Truth, Boston

    Cynthia – your statement on being judgemental is extremely judgemental!

    June 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Alanna

    Danny June 12th, 2008 11:29 am ET

    I am sorry Obama does not deserve single vote from evangelicals. Nobody knows what he is. He has a big mouth and he says he is Christian. I doubt it. He was brought up in Indonesia which is predominantly muslim nation. CNN should publish this.

    -------
    You know if some people would try and do a little research, or thinking for that matter, before they posted.............

    June 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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