Thursday, October 16, 2008

Evangelicals may give Obama victory

Major Shift in Faith Voters toward Obama, Survey Finds
Not only is Sen. Barack Obama ahead in general national polls, but a new survey finds that the Democratic presidential candidate has made significant inroads among faith voters. Sixty percent support Obama in 2008 compared to 49 percent for Kerry in 2004.

"Faith voters" are not all evangelicals, but a significant number of them are. This survey defined them as mostly Catholics and Protestants attending worship services once a month. This new poll puts "faith voters" for Obama at 60%. In the last election, George W. Bush won 60% of faith voters. With all the excitement about Sarah Palin among evangelicals, there doesn't seem to be a consequential increase for McCain in the polls.

On June 12, 2008, I suggested that evangelicals will decide this election again, and Obama does not need a majority of them to win it. He only needs more than 1 of every 3 evangelical votes. Some have asserted that evangelicals are not as conservative as they used to be.

Christianity Today reports that John McCain's support from evangelicals fell 12 percent from last week, according to a new The CBS News/New York Times poll. McCain has now fallen below the 67% of evangelicals needed to win the election. McCain still leads Obama 63 to 27 percent among evangelicals, but Obama gained seven percentage points from last week. A September 25 CBS poll showed McCain leading 69 to 20 percent.

From my June 12 blog:
"In the last Presidential election, 77% of evangelicals voted Republican, but without a strong evangelical choice this time, many, especially young evangelicals, will likely swing to the Democratic ticket. While Republicans need 67% of the evangelical vote to retain the White House, Franklin Graham's spokesman, Mark Demoss thinks that as much as 40% of evangelicals may vote for Obama."