- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 6, 2016

Evangelist Franklin Graham is calling for a “Christian revolution” and has issued a formal request to the nation to pray for America as Election Day looms.

“I am not telling anyone who to vote for. God can do that. But God’s people have a responsibility to pray for the nation and to vote,” Mr. Graham says in an open letter. “The media want you to think the current presidential election is about personality — but it’s not. The biggest impact this election will have on our nation will involve who the next president appoints to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. This will affect the course of America for decades to come.”

On Monday night, Mr. Graham prayed live for this cause on his Facebook page  in an online broadcast viewed by an estimated 1.3 million people.

“We need a Christian revolution in America. Let’s support men and women at every level of government — local, state, and national — who will lead this country back to really being one nation under God, so that we can truthfully say, once again, in God we trust,” Mr. Graham says, adding that an estimated 20-30 million Christians did not vote in the 2012 election. “We can’t let this happen again. The future of our nation is riding on this election: religious freedom, the Supreme Court, protecting the unborn and our families, and so much more. The Christian voice needs to be heard on November 8.”

Mr. Graham also notes that his father Billy Graham turned 98 on Monday as well.

“He told us three years ago that he might live to be 100 — I hope he does! He once said, “God isn’t finished with you when you retire! We never retire from His service,” Mr. Graham writes in a Facebook post. “I’m heading down to visit with him today at his home, and others in the family will be there as well. I know that he appreciates your prayers.”

DAYS OF YORE

“I am no longer a political accident.”

— Theodore Roosevelt, upon winning the presidential election on Nov. 9, 1904.

THE LAST DASH

On Election Day, both presidential hopefuls will settle in New York City to await news of victory, defeat or a recount. But the campaign is not over yet.

Hillary Clinton appears at two voter rallies in North Carolina and Michigan on Monday before heading to Philadelphia for a rally with President Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. And speaking of Mr. Obama, he has two additional events in Michigan and New Hampshire; Air Force One presumably will be idling at several airports. Running mate Sen. Tim Kaine will attend two voter events in Virginia.

After appearing at five rallies in five states on Sunday, the indefatigable Donald Trump hosts five more events on Monday in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan. It is a long day. His last rally, in fact, begins at 11 p.m. in Grand Rapids.

ELECTION AS CONTACT SPORT

Major TV coverage of the election got underway early Saturday morning, 72 hours before the polls even open. In many respects, producers have borrowed a big page out of the sports playbook, treating the election like a major game — heavy with stats, polls, player reports. Except the players are Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, their families, advisors, surrogates, fans and enemies.

Production values are similar as well. Cable and broadcast networks feature a huge cast of characters who bandy about data, procedures and odds with ease. Both CNN and Fox News, for example, each have 25 correspondents in multiple states, along with big name heavyweights who rule over fantastic studio sets and speculate with conviction. The exception is the Weather Channel — which will air nine hours of gorgeous weather images and smooth jazz on Tuesday for those who can’t bear one more frantic anchor saying “This just in from Pennsylvania.”

But like a big game, this is big business; each and every network stands to enjoy record audiences and handsome advertising profits on their election coverage. Once the election is over, critics hope broadcasters and the rest of the press will remember their calling to accurately and fairly inform the public. HBO host Bill Maher cut to the chase with an F-bomb laden tirade, advising, “Media, do your [expletive] job.”

Some believe it’s too late.

“We are still days away from finally knowing the winner of one of the ugliest elections in modern history, but we already have the biggest loser: the media,” writes David Zurawik, press critic for the Baltimore Sun. “The media have never performed less responsibly in a modern-era presidential election,” he continued, describing the press as “an industry that appears to have largely lost a clear sense of civic direction and purpose, while simultaneously becoming cozier with the powers that be and more dishonest with audiences. It’s a deadly combination that has dark consequences for democracy.”

REAGAN-ERA ASSISTANCE

A lobbying group originally founded by Ronald Reagan has taken up the cause of three Republican candidates they say have been swept aside by the national party.

“Viable conservative candidates running for the House and Senate have been written off, ruled out, or flat-out ignored by the national party committees and the Washington establishment who finance these elections,” stated Citizens for the Republic, a conservative grass-roots lobbying organization founded by the late president in 1977.

The organization continues to support candidates they say have been “thrown aside” in the election cycle.

“The leadership’s inaction in these critical battlegrounds is inexcusable and sad,” said Diana Banister, executive director of the group. “These are good men running in tough races Republicans need to win. If the GOP insists on giving up, then conservatives will step in and make it happen.”

The organization cited Darryl Glenn, now running against vulnerable incumbent senator Michael Bennett in Colorado. Also on the list: Rep. Scott Garrett, now in a challenging re-election race in New Jersey, plus Jason Lewis, a public broadcaster and conservative leader running in Minnesota.

“Despite no support from national Republicans, Jason is in a race Republicans can win, according to a Roll Call report,” the organization noted.

POLL DU JOUR

52 percent of registered U.S. voters would prefer Republicans control Congress if Hillary Clinton is elected president; 91 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent of voters overall would prefer Democrats control Congress if Mrs. Clinton is elected; 6 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

48 percent of voters overall would prefer Republicans control Congress if Donald Trump is elected president; 90 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent of voters overall would prefer Democrats control Congress if Mr. Trump is elected; 8 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 945 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 27-28.

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