Yesterday, I was honored to receive Focus on the Family's 2010 Family Policy Council Family Champion Award in recognition of our successful Winning Matters 2009 campaign. Winning Matters was the largest voter education and mobilization campaign in our 25-year history. I received the award while attending Focus' annual Family Policy Council Leaders Conference in Chicago. We are particularly flattered to have been selected from nearly forty family policy councils from around the country to receive this special recognition from Focus on the Family. In presenting the award, Focus on the Family Action (CitizenLink) Vice President Tom Minnery said:
Because the results of their successful efforts were so decisive, Victoria Cobb and The Family Foundation of Virginia have distinguished themselves as a 2010 Family Champion Award recipient.
Winning Matters proved that with the right plan and the right message, values focused voters can be motivated to turn out and can make a difference in any election. We plan to use what we learned from our successes in 2009, combined with the instruction I am receiving this week in Chicago regarding campaigns, to begin formulating our strategy for next year's crucial state Senate elections.
You may recall the Winning Matters campaign included eleven staff, nine that were in the field working with churches across Virginia, meeting pastors, attending community and political events, and using social networking to educate and mobilize our voters. Together, they contacted more than 4,000 churches, distributed nearly 125,000 General Assembly Report Cards — more than twice as many as ever before — and conducted or initiated hundreds of voter registration drives. The Family Foundation Action also produced Get Out The Vote phone calls with Chuck Colson, Mike Huckabee and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Family Foundation Action mailed thousands of voter education pieces to key House districts and distributed nearly one million non-partisan Voter Guides for the three statewide races and 38 House races, to educate voters — including Spanish and Korean statewide Voter Guides for the first time. In another first, the non-partisan organization created a video Voter Guide as well, to distribute virally through social networking sites.
According to exit polls, the number of evangelicals who voted in 2009 surpassed the previous 2004 Virginia election benchmark, and 83 percent of these voters voted for pro-life, pro-family candidates. Consequently, nearly half of all Governor Bob McDonnell's votes came from self-identified evangelicals.
I would also like to express my appreciation to all of you who supported Winning Matters either financially or through your hard work on the campaign!