McCain and Obama's Religious Outreach Experts

Whom they listen to.

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Obama's national director of religious affairs, Joshua DuBois, the stepson of an African Methodist Episcopal minister, heads up Obama's effort to win the support of values voters—one of the most intensive campaigns ever by Democrats to woo people of faith. A recent addition to Obama's campaign, Shaun Casey, an associate professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., will help hone Obama's message to white evangelicals; he advised John Kerry in 2004, trying to get the candidate to rely less on Bible verses and speak more comfortably about his faith. Mark Linton, a former Obama Senate staffer, is the campaign's national Catholic outreach coordinator, reportedly focusing his efforts on Pennsylvania, where the campaign hopes to attract the state's large population of Catholic swing voters.


McCain's director of evangelical outreach, Marlys Popma, is an evangelical Christian and former head of Iowa Right to Life who served as the campaign's top Iowa staffer before the primary. Through the primary season and well into this summer, the campaign, in a departure from the Bush campaigns of 2000 and 2004, did not have a religious outreach director. Popma took over the effort after the high-profile dismissals last year of two prominent Christian-right activists who said the campaign kept them at arm's length and refused to spend funds on church-by-church organizing. Among the staffers trying to win social conservatives back is Bob Heckman, the national political director of Gary Bauer's 2000 presidential bid, a big-picture adviser who heads up the campaign's efforts to appeal to all conservative groups.