- Polls have showed evangelicals, following national trends, are disaffected with Republican leadership and increasingly up for grabs.
The organizer of the "Matthew 25" effort, Mara Vanderslice, led the religious outreach for the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004, and -- perhaps more troubling to the GOP -- has done similar, and successful, work for winning Democrats in reliably red states and battlegrounds, such as Govs. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Ted Strickland of Ohio and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
This new energy has not been matched among conservatives. Same-sex marriage has galvanized some issues-motivated activists, but the Republican standard-bearer has yet to galvanize longtime evangelical foot soldiers this campaign season.
Since former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee ended his presidential run, many organizers and former Huckabee backers such as Farris have taken to the sidelines -- and said they have no plans to re-enter the electoral fray before Election Day.
And as new reports surface of McCain's difficulties with evangelical leaders, Obama's campaign revealed an ambitious effort to appeal to young evangelicals and Catholics set to be unveiled this month.