Robertson: Evangelicals lose influence

Sept. 1, 2008 at 7:50 PM

NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Evangelical Christians are not as organized this election as they were in years past, movement leaders say.

In the 21 years since the Christian Coalition was formed, the once-powerful group no longer has the political muscle it once had, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday.

The Christian Coalition was founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who will not even attend the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., this week.

In a recent e-mail, Robertson said that "the evangelical community is not organized this year" but can be expected to "turn out and vote." He warned that evangelicals "will not have the influence they used to."

In 2004, white evangelicals favored President George W. Bush over Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry by a 78 percent to 21 percent margin.

"McCain has his work cut out for him if he expects the kind of support Bush got," said Victoria Cobb, president of Family Foundation, an advocacy group based in Virginia.

"Conservatives are growing tired of voting against evil instead of voting for a candidate who supports their values," Cobb said, noting that some "will stay home if the person is not espousing core beliefs."

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