Over the past several months, we have talked repeatedly about the need for conservative Christians to vote. Nationally, fewer than 40% of evangelicals vote in a typical election. As a result, millions of ballots that could be cast on behalf of enduring, common-sense values are left blank. Over the past decade, we have seen the impact of this failure to steward our civic authority as halls of government have become increasingly hostile to common sense and enduring concepts of what is true.
Then Tuesday happened.
By now you know that Tuesday’s elections represented an historic…something. The talking heads are still working out what that was. But what you may not know is exactly who is responsible for this change.
A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Faith and Freedom Coalition found that the largest single constituency in the electorate in the 2010 midterm elections was self-identified evangelicals. Overall, nearly 32% of the electorate identified themselves as evangelical or conservative Christians.
Surprisingly, this represented only a 5% increase over evangelical turnout in 2006. But the difference it made was historic.
Traditional political efforts intentionally ignore this voting bloc because of fear over controversial social issues like the right of the unborn to live and the definition of marriage. As the system has increasingly ignored their issues, these voters have become less engaged.
Fortunately, that is beginning to change. And you have helped create the change.
The Family Policy Institute of Washington is proud to be part of a national network of Family Policy Councils that has identified the voting apathy of America’s evangelicals as one of the primary culprits in our increasingly bizarre public policy. In doing so, we have been carrying out targeted efforts to reach voters that have been largely ignored by the political establishment. Efforts to ensure that socially conservative voters know which candidates share their worldview have proven to dramatically increase their likelihood to vote.
Here in Washington, we were able to target more than 300,000 of these households with pro-family messages through phone calls, mail, websites, and online messages. Similar efforts were conducted around the country. The results speak for themselves.
Of course, much is being done that we cannot take credit for. But this study verifies that we are definitely on the right course. This information shows how significant the conservative Christian voting bloc is, and proves that even a relatively modest improvement in participation can make a tremendous difference.
We trust this is just the beginning, and we are confident that we are on the right course. As we continue to learn and continue to grow, we will continue to raise our level of expectation. Thank you for your partnership that makes it all possible.