New liberal projects aim to sour voters of faith on Trump

New liberal projects aim to sour voters of faith on Trump

In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump bows his head down as they say their prayer at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. Three liberal groups are launching new efforts aimed at souring religious voters on President Donald Trump ahead of next month's election, fresh signs of a growing left-leaning investment in courting that sector even as Trump’s campaign works to consolidate his devout conservative base. (Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP.)

Three liberal groups are launching new efforts aimed at souring religious voters on President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s election, fresh signs of a growing left-leaning investment in courting that sector even as Trump’s campaign works to consolidate his devout conservative base.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three liberal groups are launching new efforts aimed at souring religious voters on President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s election, fresh signs of a growing left-leaning investment in courting that sector even as Trump’s campaign works to consolidate his devout conservative base.

The projects include $625,000 in partnerships formed by leading Democratic super PAC Priorities USA with three liberal faith groups. A $250,000 digital ad push by the Jewish Democratic Council of America looks to focus swing-state Jewish voters’ attention on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. And another digital ad from the New Moral Majority PAC featuring left-leaning pastors urges “every single soul to get to the polls” and support Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Together the initiatives pale in comparison with spending by conservative Christian groups during this campaign, such as the $50 million in get-out-the-vote spending by the evangelical Faith and Freedom Coalition.

But with Biden’s campaign devoting significant resources to courting devout voters, betting it can cut into Trump’s advantage even among evangelicals, the rise in outside liberal spending on religious voter engagement is notable.

Trump’s foothold with white evangelicals gets ample attention, “but there are millions of voters who are not white evangelical conservatives, who practice various Christian faiths and faiths of other types,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, said in an interview.

Priorities USA, which plans to spend $200 million this election, has routed resources to the liberal-leaning groups Faith in Public Life Action Fund, Black Church PAC and Faith 2020 to fund digital ads and organizing in swing states and nationwide, depending on the group.

The Jewish Democratic Council’s ad, part of a larger campaign, juxtaposes Trump’s words minimizing the virus’ impact with the Kaddish, a sacred Jewish prayer of mourning, as on-screen images show the mounting U.S. death toll from the coronavirus.

While Trump’s campaign has appealed to Jewish voters by touting his record on Israel, which recently moved to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Biden backers see the pandemic and other domestic issues as more potent drivers of Jewish support for the Democratic ticket this fall.

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