Vote for Common Good (VCG) and The Lincoln Project are seeking to push Joe Biden, a professing Roman Catholic, as an religious alternative for evangelical voters, many of whom are slated to vote for President Trump in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
According to POLITICO, both groups officially formed a partnership on Wednesday as a means to capitalize on religious voters who dislike Trump or are unhappy with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the black lives matter protests.
The Lincoln Project is a political action committee that is composed of Republicans and ex-Republicans that seek to prevent Trump from winning re-election. The group was co-founded by George Conway, the husband of Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway.
“If there was ever a time when Republicans, especially people of faith can be moved, it’s probably now,” said Sarah Lenti, executive director at the Lincoln Project. “This is about doing the right thing for our country and that goes back to embracing Biblical principles, such as loving and caring for each other.”
All throughout Trump’s first term, many white evangelicals have expressed unwavering support for the President. But recently, many of Trump’s Protestant and Catholic advocates are turning away from the president due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One other time prominent conservatives expressed disappointment with Trump was when he called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria late last year.
Progressive pastor Doug Pagitt, who founded VGC in 2016, noted that drawing white evangelicals from Trump to Biden will be difficult due to their long-standing ties with the Republican Party.
“For some people this will be a two-step process,” Pagitt said. “The first part is letting go of the reflexive impulse they have to vote Republican, which is a hard thing to let go of. And then for some of those people, stepping all the way over to Biden is a big step.
“I respect the fact that many people feel they’ve been conservatives or Republicans their whole lives and to push them to vote for Biden, that’s like pushing them to abandon their identity. We don’t want to do that,” he added. “But for them to hear from the Lincoln Project, which is a bunch of Republicans saying they are going to vote for Joe Biden because of their faith, that can be powerful and convincing.”
VCG hopes to draw evangelical voters in major 2020 swing states through several approaches such as building personal relationships with them.
A postcard campaign will also be launched where voters will receive handwritten notes encouraging them to take their faith into consideration as the 2020 presidential election draws near.
Pagitt explained that the postcards will be made with different messages along with a personal note from another voter. One of the cards will feature some words from the love passage in 1 Corinthians 13, such as “love is patient and kind.” Another card will feature VCG’s slogan, “Faith, not fear. Hope, not hate. Love, not lies.”
The efforts by VCG and The Lincoln Project will be focused on six battleground states — North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida — where Trump is trailing behind Biden, according to the results of multiple polls.
Both groups hosted a virtual town hall on Wednesday that featured Pagitt, Lincoln Project co-founder and GOP strategist Rick Wilson, evangelical minister Rob Schenck, Society of Christian Ethics president David Gushee and journalist Amy Sullivan. For Schenck, this will be the first time he will vote for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976.
According to Lenit, an outpouring of digital, radio and television ads will be released in drawing “gettable” Republican voters.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.