Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez says his party’s message doesn’t get through in the Midwest because voters there are often influenced by what they hear from “the pulpit on Sunday.”
During a event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday titled “The Court In Crisis: What’s Next For Progressives After Kavanaugh” summit, Perez said he’s talked with party leaders about why Democrats’ message fails to connect with some voters.
“I’ve learned this from the outreach we’ve done at the DNC. Why aren’t we penetrating, I asked. And I had someone in northwestern Wisconsin tell me, ‘You know what, for most of the people I know, their principal sources of information are Fox News, their NRA newsletter, and the pulpit on Sunday.’ And it should come as a surprise to no one that our message doesn’t penetrate,” Perez said.
“It should come as a surprise to no one that that person has elevated the issue, of course, to the top, because that person on the pulpit is saying ‘Ignore everything else that this person has done and is doing. We have to focus on one issue of Roe vs. Wade.'”
“And people buy it because that’s their only source,” Perez added.
Democrats have long complained about people of faith. In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said working-class voters in old industrial towns “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
“The Democratic Party has struggled to appeal to religious voters, especially evangelicals,” The Washington Free Bacon reported. “Eighty percent of white evangelicals supported President Donald Trump in 2016. Protestant voters made up just over half of the electorate in 2016, and Trump won 56 percent compared to 39 percent for Hillary Clinton. A slight majority of Catholics, who make up the second largest bloc of religious voters, supported Trump over Clinton. Trump won a majority of religious voters who attend services at least monthly.”
In 2018, 75 percent of white evangelicals supported Republican candidates. Among Protestant voters, 55 percent supported the GOP, while Catholics split about evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Fifty-five percent of voters who attend religious services at least monthly supported GOP candidates.
Perez also complained about conservative news outlets like Fox and Sinclair, who have stations in 100 markets.
“[W]e all have to make sure we’re fluent in what’s happening across our ecosystem so that we can come to each other’s defense, because we need to build a bigger orchestra,” he said. “They’ve had a big orchestra for some time, and they’ve got the megaphones to amplify it, whether it’s Sinclair at a local level, Fox at a national level.”