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Have Democrats Lost Faith in Faith-Based Outreach?

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As Democrats conduct a grim postmortem on Tuesday's (Nov. 2) elections, some liberal leaders say one diagnosis is already clear: the party's outreach to religious voters was lifeless from the start.

Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008 in part because they wrested Catholics and some white Protestants from Republicans' tight grip. Gains among those voters helped elect Democrats in rural and suburban areas that had long been GOP strongholds.

But in 2010, progressive leaders say, Democrats largely retreated to the same-old wonky language to explain their policies, and same-old political strategies to drum up voters – with predictable results.

"One of the ironies is that we had huge success with (faith outreach)," said Eric Sapp, a partner at Eleison Group, a consulting firm that worked on religious outreach for dozens of Democratic campaigns in 2006 and 2008 – but none this year.

"It's part of why we are in power. It's ...

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