James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family and one of the most influential Christian conservatives in the U.S., urged evangelicals to get out and vote because “much is on the line” at this presidential election, Nov. 1, 2004.
"[I]f you identify with the pro-life and pro-family movement, if you believe there is a right and wrong, if you believe in absolute truth, it's all on the line tomorrow," Dobson told his nationwide radio audience.
Although no names were mentioned during Dobson’s address, he was clearly calling on evangelicals to get out their vote for President Bush. Bush’s position on abortion, embryonic stem cell research and marriage has widely reflected the views of Christian evangelicals.
"Republicans were interested in our votes during the election, and then they tended to go away," Dobson said in an earlier interview. "It changed because of George Bush."
"You couldn't ask for a candidate who is more publicly identified with people of faith than President Bush," agreed Grover Norquist, a conservative strategist who holds weekly meetings of allies in the movement. "If they don't turn out inordinately for Bush, it would just become known that these guys don't vote."
An Oct. 31 poll by the Pew Research Center showed that white evangelical Protestants support Bush by a margin of 75-20 percent. Other polls have shown even a greater majority support for Bush among white evangelicals.
Dobson, therefore, like many other evangelical leaders, reminded the millions of listeners that “your vote counts.”
Recalling the close 2000 election during which Bush won Florida (and the election) by a mere 537 votes, Dobson explained, "It could easily be that close this year.”
“Every vote counts. What's at stake ... is the Supreme Court. The next president could well appoint up to four Supreme Court justices, and they will set the tone for the judiciary -- which is already out of control -- for the next century,” Dobson continued.
"There is no way to overstate what's at stake here, and I’m not just talking about the presidency. I'm talking about the Senate and the House and the state offices of government and the local ordinances,” said Dobson.
In an interview with the New York Times on Friday, Dobson explained what he perceived to be God’s choice in the election.
“I felt He wanted me this time to pour myself into this, no matter how much pain or stress or physical inconvenience, to try to influence this election," he said. "God may have chosen a different track. I don't perceive it, but he might."
Repeating those sentiments during his radio address, Dobson urged his listeners to pray and fast for God’s will to be done at this election.
"[P]lease spend 15 minutes to do your duty to your God and your family and to this nation [by voting]. There is a responsibility here -- 4 million evangelicals, people like many of those listening to us, were simply too busy four years ago to go to the polls. And as a result, the outcome hung in the balance 'til the last minute.”
Continued Dobson: "... There is a spiritual battle going on.... And we simply must let our voices be heard.”