Democrats seek redemption, votes from the faithful

After a lackluster performance among religious voters in 2016, some of the Democratic presidential contenders have vowed to do better in 2020, moving to hire personnel charged with selling the candidates — and their party — to the devout.

The Democratic National Committee has also brought on a new faith outreach director, who has begun a listening tour with religious leaders in the run-up to next year’s elections.

The moves are a recognition of the party’s struggles to attract religiously observant voters, particularly evangelical Christians, in any significant way in recent presidential elections.

“They’re reading the electorate right — that there’s a lot of voters who want to come over and support Democratic candidates,” said Doug Pagitt, executive director of the group Vote Common Good. “Just like you would with any other group of particular style or interest or cares and concerns, you want to make sure that you have somebody on your team that’s helping you think through how you’re going to connect with that constituency.”

Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg have sought faith outreach coordinators for their campaigns.

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