Second, the ad doesn’t end with a clear call to action, but the Lincoln Project’s website says, “Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.” This is very different from the tack of evangelical never-Trumpers in 2016, who tended to endorse independent and third-party protest votes (e.g. for Evan McMullin or the Libertarian Party nominee, Gary Johnson) or abstention from voting for president as a conscientious refusal to choose the lesser of two evils. The Lincoln Project ad is also a big step beyond Christianity Today’s controversial December editorial calling for Trump’s removal from office. As a follow-up article emphasized, nowhere in the editorial was there an “endorsement of the Democrats,” whose “pro-choice … policies would advance so much of what we oppose.”

Ads like this haven’t “been done before because the well-financed organizations on the left don’t know enough to understand how strategic it is,” said Michael Wear, who directed faith outreach for former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, in an interview with The Week, “and the center-right has not had the institutions to organize such a critique.” Though circumspect, Wear, who now helps lead The AND Campaign, a nonpartisan organization promoting Christian civic engagement, was hopeful that the effort could prove productive.