Rep. Tom Perriello was one of the casualties of faith voters' dramatic favoring of Republicans in the 2010 elections.
“It’s not the way we recommend doing things,” said Sapp, who has consulted numerous Democratic candidates on reaching out to faith communities. “I don’t think it was effective or the right way to bring religion into the public square. You have to build a base before you do it.”
Sapp, Sager and others agree that Democrats need a protracted faith effort that is consistent over time so it doesn’t look like a biannual pilgrimage for votes.
“You’re talking about a community that believes in forgiveness,” Sapp joked about the lack of Democratic faith outreach over the past two years. “We did it right over four years and built relationships. Those have been stretched or strained, but I think those can be picked back up. If we wait until the summer of 2012, it’s going to be a lot harder.”