Army of “pro-family” voters a little less impressive up close

In the recent film “Jesus Camp,” a star preacher opines that when evangelicals vote, they control the outcome of the election — that’s been the conventional wisdom around Washington since Karl Rove squeaked out President Bush’s successful reelection campaign and conservative evangelical leaders claimed credit.

Mathematically, the preacher’s claim may be correct, but evangelicals are a politically diverse community, and it turns out the most conservative among them may not be going to the polls this year.

The Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA) is encouraging Christians to register to vote in time for next month’s elections. A recent survey of AFA supporters found that about half are not even registered, which is one reason the organization has unveiled a website to help pro-family individuals be well informed voters.

The AFA’s own release goes on to say that their registration rate is significantly less than the nation as a whole. For all their tough talk of electoral might, the AFA should perhaps devote a little more time to basic civics and a little less doing, well, everything else they do.