Abraham Lincoln outlined his winning electoral strategy this way: Get an updated list of voters, identify those likely to support you, contact them, and then make sure they vote. “Today, in an age of multi-million-dollar media campaigns, [Lincoln’s philosophy] is still accurate,” says Guy Rodgers, national field director for the Pat Robertson-founded Christian Coalition. With an eye to Election Day 1992, several religious organizations appear to be following the same line as they launch a series of ambitious voter-registration drives.

Under Rodgers’s leadership, the Christian Coalition has developed an intricate Voter Identification Project that involves volunteers from its 350 local chapters in 42 states. Every chapter will survey thousands of potential voters within targeted precincts. The ultimate goal is to identify “two million profamily voters by October 1” and funnel them coalition-produced voting guides on issues relevant to both their particular local and state elections and the national races.

Ironically, the success of the plan hinges on general voter apathy. According to Rodgers’s calculations, only 65 percent of eligible Americans are registered to vote. Of those, usually only about 40 percent actually vote. If only 26 percent of the public is voting, he says, then just over 13 percent of the population has determined the winners. “Because voter turnout is so low,” he says, “we do not need to convince a majority of adults in America to agree with us.”

Prayer In The Precincts

Less intricate but equally ambitious is the National Association of Evangelicals’ (NAE) new Christian Citizens’ Campaign, which, according to a project summary, seeks to “recruit millions of evangelicals to pray more pointedly for their nation ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: