While progressive Democrats made major gains across the country in yesterday’s midterm elections, Republicans won some crucial close races, giving Trump a stronger hand in the U.S. Senate. This morning Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition declared victory for the Religious Right, claiming that a record turnout of evangelicals, backed by conservative Catholics, was the key to Republican victories.
“I think the White House and the RGA and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and certainly Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott are very grateful tonight that the rapture didn’t happen before the early voting began because if it had, they would have lost in a landslide,” Reed told CBN. “The evangelicals delivered this vote in a big way.”
When Reed and Pat Robertson launched the Christian Coalition after Robertson’s failed 1988 presidential bid, they had a goal of taking working control of the Republican Party. Since then, Religious Right groups and their allies have successfully pushed the GOP far to the right. Religious Right leaders’ embrace of Donald Trump, backed by huge investments in media and political organizing, played a major role in giving Trump massive majorities among white evangelicals and putting him in the White House.
Tim Head, executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition declared today, “Voters of faith turned out in record numbers and gave Republicans in key states a margin of support that provided the difference in nearly every key race.” Republicans, Head said, “cannot win” without conservative religious voters.
Self-identified evangelicals comprised a record 26% of the mid-term electorate and voted 80% Republican and only 16% Democratic.
The post-election survey commissioned by Faith & Freedom and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies found that 35% of the electorate self-identified as conservative Christians, and these voters cast 86% of their ballots for Republicans and only 12% for Democrats.
These numbers are the highest share of the electorate made up of conservative Christians in a mid-term election in the modern era.
FFC also released statistics on the group’s organizing:
Faith & Freedom Coalition contacted 181 million Christian voters throughout the country including Faith & Freedom volunteers reaching over 3.7 million voters of faith by knocking on over 2.2 million doors in advance of the 2018 midterm election.
Home visits were concentrated in 21 states targeting mid-to-high propensity voters with a turnout score of 5 or above, as well as voters that data analytics have identified as evangelicals or Roman Catholics who self-identify as pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-family. Using a smartphone app that locates faith-based voters using mapping software and enhanced voter lists, a total of 2,236 volunteers and 350 paid staff operating out of 39 field offices from California to West Virginia are knocking on doors, hanging door hangers, passing out voter guides, and using customized scripts to interact with voters based on their specific issue burdens.
In addition, Faith & Freedom reached 13.4 million voters with voter education mail, placed over 32 million digital ads on social media platforms, and delivered 28 million emails and text messages to encourage Christian voters to go to the polls. Text messages provided voters with links to nonpartisan voter guides and mapping software that directed voters to polling locations. Faith & Freedom volunteers made an estimated 450,000 get-out-the-vote calls during the final week in a dozen key states and 32 key Congressional districts.