The Christians are Coming: an appeal to Church Going Christians

Funding transgender operations for state government employees may not be one of the “burning issues” to REDSTATE conservatives or center-right voters but it is likely to boost voter turnout among Church going Christians this Tuesday in Pennsylvania and perhaps help defeat the Democrat candidate for Governor.  It’s all part of the ground game and turning out your voters, according to Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation in PA, a PAC whose “Voter Guide” flyer citing liberal Democrat Tom Wolf position on this and other issues was cited by the York Daily Record in questioning the Democrat in a recent interview.

Although many pundits have reported the GOP national lead in public opinion polls for this Tuesday’s mid term elections, there aren’t as many reports on whether the GOP “ground game” can overcome the previously reported Democrat advantage which has won many close races for them in the past and which in fact helped Barack Obama in six critical states and saved the reelection of [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] in Nevada.  Reid was trailing in the polls the day before the vote but ended up winning reelection, widely credited to his superior efforts to turn out his votes.

In Pennsylvania, the liberal Democrat challenger, Democrat Tom Wolf, is running ahead in the polls versus the incumbent GOP Governor, Tom Corbett.  The Democrat “turn out the vote” effort, which helped Barack Obama carry the Commonwealth twice by wide margins and makes Pennsylvania a reliable blue state, is reported to boost that margin.

But there are an array of organizations aiming to boost voter turnout among Church going Christians this Tuesday.  If they are successful in boosting turnout, an upset reelection surprise may be in store for the moderate GOP Governor Corbett.

Many of the TV commercials for Corbett seemed to have appealed to moderate and Democrat voters.  His ads have shown him and his wife complaining of the Democrat charges against him that he cut education spending.  He says in the commercial that since he took office as Governor, he has spent more money on education than any governor in history.  How’s that for appealing to conservatives?

In contrast, liberal Democrat Tom Wolf’s commercials show him complaining about the GOP Governor raising gasoline taxes 28 cents a gallon while allowing rich oil companies to escape taxes which (he says) are imposed by most other states.  How’s that for appealing to BOTH your own liberal base (bashing oil companies) while appealing to conservative and Republican voters?

How’s that working out?  The GOP incumbent has the support of 64% of his GOP base, while the Democrat has the support of 80% of his base.  Polls conducted after those commercials started airing showed a 30 point advantage for the Democrat.

More recently the Christian and conservative-Christian groups have been weighing in on the issues of interest to them – and which are NOT being emphasized by the Corbett and GOP campaign.  The Corbett poll deficit has been reduced to only 9% as of this past week.

In the last election, Jay McKiernan, President of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation (Action of PA), cites a Pew Foundation study showing that Mitt Romney earned 59% of the vote versus only 39% for Barack Obama among Church going Christians.  But a disappointing 57% of registered church going Christians bothered to vote – and half of the total of this population segment weren’t even registered to vote.

ACTION of PA has published a “Voter Guide” comparison showing eight issues they believe will be of interest to Church going Christians and showing the comparison between Governor Corbett and challenger Wolf.  This two-sided 8 ½ by 11 flyer was handed out together with other voter guides by Action of PA volunteers in York County reaching 20,000 voters attending Church the past two weekends.  Many other ACTION volunteers throughout Pennsylvania have done the same thing, often supplementing their own Voter Guide flyer with similar material from other groups.

An example of one piece which Jay McKiernan cited as especially effective, was one which focused on Catholics and was used to reach church goers at 20 more Catholic Church services the past two weekends, headlined, “An Appeal to Pennsylvania Catholics Regarding the 2014 Governor’s Election on Tuesday, Nov. 4: Please do not elect a pro-abortion Governor such as Tom Wolf.”

The 6 panel brochure’s top page punch line is: “As Governor, Tom Wolf would –Restore Tax Funding for Abortion –Remove Abortion Facility Regulations –Increase Abortions in Pennsylvania.”  This brochure was created and printed by the Pro-Life Political Action Committee for Southeast Pennsylvania and is an example of “express advocacy” for or against a candidate for office by a PAC.

Although ACTION of PA is a PAC, the flyer it created does NOT contain express advocacy and therefore can be handed out legally at and even inside Churches, in contrast to the literature of a “PAC.’  The ACTION volunteers were happy to distribute BOTH types of literature, putting them on the handles of cars parked in church parking lots during church services.

Another piece used the ACTION of PA volunteers and many others throughout Pennsylvania the past month and especially the past two weekends at Church services is a VOTERS GUIDE published by the Pennsylvania Family Council (PFC), a non-profit organization whose publication does not endorse or support any candidate.

Far more detailed than the other literature available to increase turnout of Church going Christians, this work lists 12 issues and the response to their questionnaire for all the candidates for Congress, and 16 issues and their response from candidates for Governor, State Senate and State Representative.  It is 16 pages long.  An electronic version of the full survey can be found at the PFC website (click HERE).  A voter guide for the Governors race only, can be found here.

Another piece printed to appeal to Church going Christians is the “Pro-Life Voter’s Guide” published by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, which while not endorsing any candidate, makes clear which candidate Church going pro-life Christians (especially Catholics) should favor.  The 6 page (printed two sides as one piece) publication was seen at Catholic Churches throughout the state during the final two weekend Church services before election day.  The complete Voter Guide, which lists the pro-life candidates in bold lettering, covers the Governor’s race, the 18 congressional races and the state senate and state representative races for the entire state, as well as a simply “flyer-poster” (suitable for posting on Church Bulletin boards) contrasting the “pro life Tom Corbett” versus “pro-abortion Tom Wolf.” For pro-life Catholics this is a very hard hitting, effective piece covering all the campaigns throughout the state in contrast to the multi-issue approaches of the other organizations.

One of the largest influences on the election process is the Catholic Church, whose Catholic Witness newspaper, mailed to voters in the Harrisburg diocese (covering a wide swath of central and south central PA) includes a questionnaire response from candidates for Governor, Congress and State legislature. The Catholic publication is rather straightforward, reporting for example,

“Corbett opposes legalized abortion except when the life of the mother is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  He said in his interview ‘I have always been there for the unborn.’  He cites the increased safety standards for abortion facilities and the law prohibiting coverage of elective abortions in the health insurance exchanges as the bvest examples of what he has done to protect life.”

In contrast, the Catholic publication reports that Tom Wolf, says he has “’always been a strong advocate on issues important to women’ including ‘standing up for women’s reproductive rights.’ He told the Jewish Exponent that he would repeat the Pennsylvania law that ‘does not allow women who signed up for health insurance from the Affordable Care Act exchange to purchase abortion coverage,’ and ‘in addition to repealing this law, (he) will fight any legislation that places unnecessary restrictions on women’s health choices.’”

The Catholic Witness for the Harrisburg area reports on the questionnaire responses for state senate and state representative races (click HERE – go to page 16).  Several candidates widely regarded as conservative, did not respond to repeated appeals to fill out their survey, such as PA State Sen. S.Wagner and PA State Representative Seth Grove.  Wagner and Grove also did not respond to the questionnaire sent by the Pennsylvania Family Council mentioned above – leaving voters in their district with both the Democrat and Republican showing no difference between them in the eyes of Christian groups.

Another organization circulating materials in Pennsylvania designed to boost voter turnout among Church going Christians in the nationally known Faith and Freedom Coalition, which has a “Voter Guide” focused on the Governor’s race, HERE.

ACTION of PA along with most of these groups, had a literature booth at this past year’s Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.

York Daily Record recently cited the ACTION of PA flyer in asking Democrat candidate for Governor Tom Wolf, whether he “supports the use of taxpayer money to cover the cost of gender reassignment surgery for state employees.”  The ACTION of PA flyer cited 13 different online sources for their comparison of the candidates on 8 issues.  Tom Wolf admitted that in fact he did favor such taxpayer paid gender reassignment surgery for state employees.  While the admission is on the recorded part of the York Daily Record interview, we have been told that any reference to this is omitted from the newspaper report.

These and other issues of interest to them, may boost voter turnout among Church going Christians if the word reached enough of them these past two weekends.  If that turnout is increased at a higher rate than the vaunted Democrat “ground game” then the friends of Barack Obama are going to be very disappointed by the upset reelection of Tom Corbett here in Pennsylvania.  And hard working volunteers who got the word out, created and printed by these outstanding organizations reported here, will be the major reason for their disappointment

And, if this effort is successful it will be because of what ACTION of PA State President Jay McKiernan calls “straight shooting for the conservative, church going base” that was “simply not being done by the Republican campaign of Governor Tom Corbett.”

For REDSTATE readers this is nothing new.  Our second best choice is to run our own independent campaigns for candidates for office so we can discuss the issues of interest and concern to us rather than rely on the more moderate campaigns to hand us the tools we need.  If we have to support moderate GOP nominees against far more leftwing Democrats, we can at least emphasize the issues we care about while building our own base larger.

Election campaigns are the best time of the year to speak to voters about our stand on the issues, and if moderate GOP candidates won’t do it we need to do it to reach our own constituencies, such as church going Christians in Pennsylvania.

Our first best choice is to do better in winning primaries in the future, so our candidates will more directly address the issues of interest to us in the future.  Our hats off to those organizations and individuals who worked so hard to get the vote out among Church going Christians.  God bless you and may He reward your efforts with victory in Pennsylvania and across the nation on Tuesday nite.


LETS BE FRIENDS… HanoverHenry of RED STATE is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there.  While I have taken a sabbatical from my previous 5x a week, weekdays writing schedule at RED STATE, I continue to write here and on Facebook occasionally.

You can also communicate via private mail at Facebook, and I welcome new sources for my articles focusing on the conservative-Christian viewpoint, and related activities in Pennsylvania.  I appreciate your sharing this article elsewhere and only ask that you include this “disclaimer” in any reprints or sharing you do (if this is reprinted on any other website, that is).  And I thank those whose information has helped me with some of my reports, including those who do not wish to be quoted by name. Links to articles I wrote at RED STATE at my Facebook Notes section as well as in the appropriate section of Red State.  This article may be reprinted anywhere provided that these last two paragraphs are included unabridged or shortened in any way.