New group recruits religious conservatives

June 22, 2004 at 7:45 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 22 (UPI) -- A new independent support group intent on wooing religious conservative voters has been established to help President George Bush's re-election campaign.

Let Freedom Ring Inc. will seek contributions to help "counter the millions of dollars being spent to attack and discredit President Bush by leftist organizations such as those supported by billionaire George Soros, Hollywood liberals and others," Colin Hanna, the new group's president told the Washington Times.

The group has $1 million in start-up money from the John Templeton Foundation, whose president is retired pediatric surgeon and conservative philanthropist Dr. John Templeton Jr.

Republican political strategists have estimated in 2000, as many as 6 million frequent churchgoers did not show up to vote.

"Religious conservatives are a unique kind of 'swing voter,'" Hanna said. "They don't swing between Bush and Kerry, but between Bush and not voting."

Evangelical Christians make up 7 percent of the population and 86 percent of them expect to vote for Bush this time, according to a survey last month of 1,260 registered voters by the independent, California-based Barna Research Group.

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