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Republicans, Democrats Alike Reach Christian Voters; GOP Launch Website, Democrats Talk Faith

( [email protected] ) Jul 01, 2014 09:31 AM EDT
Democrats are talking about their faith more, and Republicans are getting digitally savvy to reach Christians.
Voters pictured (Reuters)

In a run up to the next election cycle, both the Democrats and the Republicans are making a strong push to secure Christian voters.

The Republicans, having counted many Christians to their platform, don't feel like they are reaching enough voters and are trying to find ways to get them to be politically engaged.   On Friday, they launched GOPfaith.com, a website meant to bring other Christians into the fold.  

According to the website, the site is for identifying 100,000 pro-faith conservatives who will help identify, register, inform and mobilize America's faith-based community to get them engaged and to vote their values.

For the Democrat side, they are rallying believers who support their party, too.  

Especially in the south, considered to be the most religious part of the country, Democrats are finding reaching people through their faith can be a powerful leveraging tool.  

According to the Pensacola News Journal, some Democrats, like Jason Carter, President Jimmy Carter's grandson, who is running for Governor in Georgia,  are hoping to reverse Republican gains in Georgia and elsewhere, and are finding their faith can be a valuable way to reach voters.  Democrats in the old south knew this, as many voters were democrats.  The parties have realigned somewhat in recent years, and the Republicans have made huge gains among southern voters in the last 20 years.  

Still, a recent Gallup survey found that Southern Democrats are much more likely to say religion is an important part of their daily life - about 74 percent, compared with 57 percent of Democrats from outside the South.

Chad Connelly has been tapped to  direct faith engagement for the Republican National Committee, and he was the driving force behind this new initiative and GOPfaith.com.

Evangelicals, Connelly said, "are our biggest, most reliable voting bloc."

According to the Washington Post, the problem for the GOP is that even though evangelicals identify more closely than ever with the Republican platform, they have not been turning out at the polls in sufficient numbers to carry candidates to victory.  Connelly feels like the Republicans could have done more to reach the Christian voter in past elections.  

Connelly, a conservative Christian himself,  and the former chairman of the Republican Party in South Carolina, said that as he traveled the country in 2012 working for the election of Mitt Romney, he found that "the faith vote was an afterthought in a lot of places."

He is hoping that the website, and faith pledge will drive more voters to be active, and eventually put more republicans in a voting booth for the upcoming elections.

Democrats are hoping their efforts have an effect on the elections, also. 

"It's incredibly important to me personally, " Jason Carter told the PSJ, "it drives who I am and it drives what I do and how I make decisions.  People have to be authentic about who they are and where they come from. What people want in our political world is to understand where our leaders come from."