Evangelist Franklin Graham, a son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, warned Californians this week that their state is “in trouble” as it nears next week’s primary elections.
Graham — whose father was a globally known preacher who died Feb. 21 at age 99 — is on a 10-stop tour in California, urging fellow evangelical Christians to get out and vote in hopes of chipping away at the liberal-majority Golden State’s “blue wall.”
During a speech Monday night in Fresno, in the state’s Central Valley, the 65-year-old fourth-oldest of Billy Graham’s five children underscored the importance of participating in the democratic process.
“Our country is in trouble,” Graham told an audience at the Fresno Fairgrounds as part of his Decision America California Tour, according to the Fresno Bee. “Your state’s in trouble – you know that. But there are things that we can do. You know God hears prayer.”
Graham invoked politics throughout his speech, reminding the crowd that it’s not too late to “turn this state around,” while encouraging voters to lend their support to candidates who align with Christian values, the Bee reported.
Of the stops on the California tour, three “are in or bordering critical House districts in the Central Valley,” while “others hug the line between red and blue up the state,” the New York Times reported. The tour ends June 5, primary day.
Speaking to fellow evangelicals and top donors in a locker room at the Rose Bowl two weeks ago, Graham urged his supporters to stand up against California’s “Blue Wall,” according to the Times, adding that it’s time for church congregations to get out and vote.
Even if Graham’s message resonates with evangelicals, who make up 20 percent of California’s population, according to the Pew Research Center, political strategists are still skeptical the state will turn red come November.