Rolling Stone Quotes Yoest, Carville; New Media in Presidential Politics



Rolling Stone

always provocative Rolling Stone has an excellent analysis on the God-fearing voter effect on presidential politics.

Evangelicals in Exile; The Christian right is reeling from its biggest electoral defeat in a quarter century – and now they’re talking about abandoning the GOP byline ROBERT DREYFUSS,

“To ensure that Republicans get the message in 2008, the religious right is redoubling its efforts to mobilize its political machine — including tens of thousands of churches, hundreds of radio stations and two national television networks.”

The liberal thinking is that the Jesus-God-fearing voter votes as one. One candidate; one block.

O that we would. 30% of Evangelicals voted for Clinton. Gary Bauer at one time encouraged John McCain. Liberal democratTIC candidates still get some Catholics.

Robert Dreyfuss continues,

The Family Research Council, a leading lobby for the Christian right, is planning a huge expansion on the Internet, including videos and podcasts, to reach millions in next year’s election. “We want to be sure that the lessons of the last election have been learned, and that the Republicans understand that we are not a lock for the GOP,” says Charmaine Yoest, the council’s vice president of communications. “When you’re looking at razor-thin margins, you better pay attention to your base.”

New Media is key. A percentage point or less, will win. Jim Ceaser, who sat on Charmaine’s dissertation committee, made this clear in his book The Perfect Tie (list price: $69.00).

The other James, Carville, agrees,

“It’s not like you have to win ’em,” says James Carville, the Democratic strategist who engineered Bill Clinton’s rise to power. “You just have to do better. Even if you go up five points, it’s a big deal.”

Dreyfuss quotes Charmaine, who gets it right (of course…)

The swing certainly got the attention of the Christian right. “Man, a couple of points difference — that’s what the political consultants get paid the big bucks to deliver,” says Yoest of the Family Research Council. “In a divided electorate, that’s significant.”

Dreyfuss warns,


Rolling Stone

The group fired an early shot across the GOP’s bow in January, when it delivered a videotaped response to President Bush’s State of the Union speech. “The president failed to draw a line in the sand on behalf of life,” charged Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council.


Dreyfuss quotes Perkins,

“What will become of the culture of life, of the defense of marriage?” The council displayed a chart [above] on which it noted the number of times the president mentioned the Christian right’s core issues: marriage, 0; abortion, 0; stem cells, 0; cloning, 0; abstinence, 0; and values, 0.

Be sure to bookmark and track Family Research Council’s New Media advances at the FRCBlog. (Unpaid link.)


Thank you (foot)notes:

See Charmaine’s work at The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: Religious Voters and the Midterm Elections

Also mentioned in the Rolling Stone article were,

Communications expert Genevieve Wood from Heritage, Dick Armey, James Dobson, David Kuo, Ted Haggard, Phill Kline, Curtis Gans, Don Wildmon.

Get (warring) religion on Rein’s Religion Blog.


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7 Responses

  1. Jill says:

    Alert Reader sincere question which might otherwise be heard as snark:

    I understand and completely agree with this sentiment expressed by Charmaine, no matter what point along the political spectrum states it: “We want to be sure that the lessons of the last election have been learned, and that the Republicans understand that we are not a lock for the GOP.” I promise, I’ve felt that way regarding Ohio Democratic candidates, when our state party has made pre-primary endorsements.

    But…what is Charmaine really suggesting? That, absent a candidate the FRC could support and not be hypocritical, the FRC would recommend that people not vote, or not recommend anything at all?

    My point being, practically speaking, what would Charmaine really advocate – would not voting be an option? Or voting for a third-party or a Democrat be an option?

    How, exactly, does the sentiment flesh out into practical terms? Because, again, this issue does arise on all points along the spectrum.

    Thanks as always (pretty please find time to respond- she raises a very valid point that goes beyond party affiliation).

  2. The fact that ‘values’ has its own dot indicates what an empty word it has become. A political trigger that will win votes while saying nothing.

  3. Former Corn Chuckin' Champ says:

    “30% of Evangelicals voted for Clinton.”

    What a deplorable statistic. You should have suffixed ‘evangelical’ with INO.

    I confess: I’m a one-issue voter. But, it makes me feel separated, alone, and utterly isolated. That’s why Elijah is one of my favorite characters; I can identify with him.

  4. In almost all cases, elections are a matter of one republican verses one democrat. The FRC certinly wouldn’t ask people to vote for a democrat because, well, they loathe democrats. All democrats. So, the GOP really does take the Christian Right democraphic for granted – who else are they going to vote for?

    The only place they can really make a meaningful decision is internal party politics. Primaries, and such. Anywhere else, in a rep-v-dem situation, they have to vote republican every time. Regardless of the policies or competence of the candidates.

  5. Pat Patterson says:

    The “Rolling Stone always provocative.” Probably not since the did an article about the Plaster Casters. But I guess a 14 year old might be impressed.

  6. Pat Patterson says:

    Patchouli oil, unshaved legs and bell bottoms? Even I miss Nixon now.

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