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The Inconvenient Truth of the Evangelical Vote
patheos ^ | August 25, 2011 | Ralph Reed

Posted on 08/26/2011 12:09:02 PM PDT by wmfights

A funny thing happened on the way to the 2012 presidential contest. The conventional wisdom that social issues would not matter, and that the evangelical constituency is a relic of a bygone era, has been turned on its head. The beltway set is relearning one of the most inconvenient and persistent truths of American politics: the enduring strength of the evangelical vote.

This outcome was not necessarily prefigured by events. Barack Obama was supposed to usher in a new era of religious voting patterns by appealing to evangelical voters on poverty, health care and climate change (excuse me, "creation care"). In May of 2008, the founder of Beliefnet predicted that Obama "has a real chance to win substantial evangelical support," since "evangelicals are in a period of de-alignment from the Republican Party."

That prediction didn't fare so well. John McCain won 73 percent of the evangelical vote, a higher share than the born-again George W. Bush in 2000. According to a survey for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, 32 percent of all voters in 2010 were Christian conservatives, and 72 percent of them voted Republican. Voters of faith helped the GOP gain 63 seats and control of the House, and helped elect new governors like John Kasich in Ohio, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina.

The Tea Party, which has recast American politics by focusing on spending, turns out to be sweetened with a dollop of evangelical belief. The Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of Tea Party voters are pro-family. Pew also found fiscal and social conservatives coming together, the old divisions blurred by their mutual opposition to Obama's statist agenda.

Michele Bachmann symbolizes this fusion of social and fiscal conservatism. A Tea Party favorite, Bachmann won the Ames straw poll and tops many Iowa polls. Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker found that she belongs to "a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even most Christians." In a GOP presidential debate broadcast on Fox News, she was even asked if she planned to submit to her husband if she were elected president.

Rick Perry launched his own bid after addressing an evangelical prayer rally in Houston. He has been tagged by critics for having an "Elmer Gantry" problem, which they seem to think is fatal but which actually helps to explain his broad appeal and his whale-like entry into the race. Perry has connected with evangelical voters much as George W. Bush did, and then some. Think of Mike Huckabee, only with money.

The notion that Bachmann, Perry or other candidates secretly harbor "dominionist" theology is a conspiracy theory largely confined to university faculty lounges and MSNBC studios. Returning domestic spending to pre-Obama levels, repealing Obamacare and opposing Roe are not without controversy, but they hardly represent an attempt to impose Biblical law upon an unwitting nation. Like the shock and awe that accompanied the media's discovery of videos of Sarah Palin speaking in churches in Alaska as governor, what some in the secular media find appalling is greeted by most voters with a shrug.

So it is that a presidential campaign that is largely about the economy is nevertheless deeply shaped by issues of faith and morality. The evangelical vote, which comprised an astonishing 44 percent of GOP presidential primary voters in 2008, is poised to play a larger role than ever. The media, which has been publishing the obituary of religious conservatives prematurely for a quarter century, will discover once again that social conservatives are here to stay. Their return from a long exile from civic engagement in the late 1970s was not a fad. Nor was their deep conviction that America needs moral and spiritual renewal to return it to its founding principles.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: christianright; evangelical; evangelicalvoting; ralphreed; reed
John McCain won 73 percent of the evangelical vote, a higher share than the born-again George W. Bush in 2000. According to a survey for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, 32 percent of all voters in 2010 were Christian conservatives, and 72 percent of them voted Republican.

The evangelical vote, which comprised an astonishing 44 percent of GOP presidential primary voters in 2008, is poised to play a larger role than ever. The media, which has been publishing the obituary of religious conservatives prematurely for a quarter century, will discover once again that social conservatives are here to stay.

1 posted on 08/26/2011 12:09:11 PM PDT by wmfights
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To: Amityschild; Brad's Gramma; Captain Beyond; Cvengr; DvdMom; firebrand; GiovannaNicoletta; ...

Ping


2 posted on 08/26/2011 12:11:20 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights

Vote, Christians, vote!!


3 posted on 08/26/2011 12:35:57 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: wmfights

Funny thing is, there’s only about 10,000 Dominionists in the country - and they’re only known at all because Gary North is, unfortunately, such a prolific writer and spreads his ecclesiological and eschatological heresies far and wide.


4 posted on 08/26/2011 12:37:59 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus ("A gentleman considers what is just; a small man considers what is expedient.")
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To: Persevero
Vote, Christians, vote!!

Amen!

But be sure to vote for the right candidate, someone with character.

5 posted on 08/26/2011 12:43:32 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Funny thing is, there’s only about 10,000 Dominionists in the country -

I suppose everything gets down to definitions. If these "dominionists" are seeking to impose Christianity on the nation through govt I would fight it just as my religious ancestors fought it prior to and after the Reformation. If we are looking at Christian principals found in our founding documents as the guide for our country I'm all for it. :-)

6 posted on 08/26/2011 12:50:47 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights
The following excerpt is from President John Adams' First Inaugural Address:

" . . . and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.

"With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

"And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence."

7 posted on 08/26/2011 1:09:31 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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27% of evangelical Christians voted for Obama? Who? UCC and AME Zionists (I suppose they are both classified as evangelicals)?


8 posted on 08/26/2011 1:20:19 PM PDT by amishman
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To: amishman
27% of evangelical Christians voted for Obama?

African Americans are largely Evangelical Christians and there are always the Jimmy Carter types.

9 posted on 08/26/2011 1:24:23 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights
Barack Obama was supposed to usher in a new era of religious voting patterns by appealing to evangelical voters on poverty, health care and climate change (excuse me, "creation care"). In May of 2008, the founder of Beliefnet predicted that Obama "has a real chance to win substantial evangelical support," since "evangelicals are in a period of de-alignment from the Republican Party."

That prediction didn't fare so well. John McCain won 73 percent of the evangelical vote, a higher share than the born-again George W. Bush in 2000. According to a survey for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, 32 percent of all voters in 2010 were Christian conservatives, and 72 percent of them voted Republican. Voters of faith helped the GOP gain 63 seats and control of the House, and helped elect new governors like John Kasich in Ohio, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina.

2008 Presidential Election demographics, footnoted and annotated
Your "by the numbers" breakdown of the 2008 vote, with emphasis on the religious voter (as of 04/07/09):

xx% McCain, 23% Obama - White Evangelicals age 30-6411
75% McCain, 25% Obama - White7,10 Born Again5,10,12 Evangelicals1,8,10,12
73% McCain, 26% Obama - Evangelical/Born-again Protestant14
xx% McCain, 32% Obama - White Evangelicals age 18-2911
65% McCain, xx% Obama - Weekly church-attending Protestants7
65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestants7,8
65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestant/Other Christian14
62% McCain, 35% Obama - State of Utah3
59% McCain, 40% Obama - Working-class whites13
57% McCain, 41% Obama - White men13
55% McCain, 43% Obama - Weekly mass-attending Catholics 6,9
55% McCain, 43% Obama - "White voters" 13
55% McCain, 44% Obama - Non-evangelical Protestant14
54% McCain, 44% Obama - Weekly church-goers1,4,7,12
54% McCain, 45% Obama - Protestants6,8
53% McCain, 46% Obama - White women 13
52% McCain, 47% Obama - White "regular-mass-attending" Catholics12
52% McCain, 47% Obama - White Catholic14
51% McCain, 47% Obama - White college graduates13
xx% McCain, 47% Obama - White independent voters13
51% McCain, 49% Obama - White Catholics1,7,11
46% McCain, 52% Obama - Non-Evangelical Protestants 12
46% McCain, 53% Obama - Protestant/Other Christian14
xx% McCain, 53% Obama - Monthly church-goers 4**
44% McCain, 54% Obama - "Young whites"13
45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholics1,4,6,8,9,10,11,12
45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholic14
xx% McCain, 59% Obama - Semi-annual church-goers4**
38% McCain, 61% Obama - Occasional churchgoers1
37% McCain, 61% Obama - Non-weekly-mass-attending Catholics6,12
28% McCain, 62% Obama - Other faiths14
30% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanics13****
xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Catholics8,11**,***, ****
xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Protestants and other Christians11**, ****
xx% McCain, 68% Obama - Don't attend church4 **
22% McCain, 73% Obama - Other faiths14
23% McCain, 75% Obama - Unaffliliated with any religion11
23% McCain, 75% Obama - Unaffliliated14
21% McCain, 78% Obama - American Jews2,8,12 and other faiths12
21% McCain, 78% Obama - Jewish14**
xx% McCain, 94% Obama - Black Protestants11,13**,****

xx% McCain, 96% Obama - Blacks13**,****

** No source provided voting percentages for the other party.
*** Associated Press (citation #11) reports this number as 72%, instead of the 67% other media gave it.
**** Note that some media are reporting the same numbers for the Hispanic and Black vote in general, as well as for those same groups with Catholic or Protestant affiliation.
Citations:
1 The Awesome Blue God -- How Obama Forged A New Faith Coalition
2 Exit polls: 78% of Jews voted for Obama
3 Utah's red loses some of its luster
4 Obama's Religious Appeal: Still Missing Evangelicals - which TIME renamed as Obama: Bringing (Some) Evangelicals In
5 The Evangelical Electoral Map
6 What's wrong with Catholic voters? What's wrong with Catholics?
7 Evangelical Voters Favor McCain by Wide Margins
8 Catholic voters heavily favored Obama, analysis shows
9 What Happened to the Catholic Vote?
10 Loyal to the End: Evangelicals Stay the Course
11 Obama results show gains in key religious voters
12 How the faithful voted
13 Exit polls: How Obama won
14 Pew Forum - How The Faithful Voted

All numbers cited above are the earliest ones reported in the press. In cases of multiple reports, some percentages cited were not exact. However, the numbers above are within 2% of all sources cited, lending credence to the general number & placement overall.

Other resources:
With the Help of Catholics…Obama’s Victory
Results! Evangelicals
Mainline Protestants and Latino evangelicals surge toward Obama [pre-election article]
Poll: Latino Protestants switching back to Democrats this election [pre-election article]
The Hispanic Protestant swing vote [pre-election article]
America spoke
Believers in the Pews--and the Polling Booth
McCain Beats Bush on Evangelical Vote

10 posted on 08/26/2011 1:30:52 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: wmfights

AME=Black voters


11 posted on 08/26/2011 1:31:39 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: wmfights
This is due to one word. Abortion.

I'm not evangelical. I'm a conservative Catholic, although knows a lot of Evangelicals. All of them have different views on different issues, and even disagree sometimes on social issues, at least to the solutions to the problem.

The question is this. Is killing babies in the womb legal murder? Specifically, murder for convenience. It's a rhetorical question. It's not surprising that those who are of any active religious persuasion, and even some atheists for that matter who respect life, have a hard time voting for a candidate who support the legalization of murder for convenience. That's unacceptable, and all of Obama's talk about being religious does not change the fact that he supported murder for convenience up to nine months.

12 posted on 08/26/2011 1:40:00 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (I am not lead by any politician. I am my own leader.)
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To: wmfights

This only works if we all go to the polls, and that requires a candidate that is worth going to the polls for.

Should Perry or Romney get in, we’ll be McCained again; people will sit out the election is significant numbers.


13 posted on 08/26/2011 1:54:14 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Sarah Palin - 2012!)
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To: wmfights

This only works if we all go to the polls, and that requires a candidate that is worth going to the polls for.

Should Perry or Romney get in, we’ll be McCained again; people will sit out the election in significant numbers.


14 posted on 08/26/2011 1:54:39 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Sarah Palin - 2012!)
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To: Darren McCarty

>> “That’s unacceptable, and all of Obama’s talk about being religious does not change the fact that he supported murder for convenience up to nine months.” <<

.
Amen!


15 posted on 08/26/2011 1:56:29 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Sarah Palin - 2012!)
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To: wmfights

Imagine that.....


16 posted on 08/26/2011 2:52:55 PM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: wmfights

Two things are notably discerned from this article:

First and foremost, that the TEA Party, while formed in fiscal and civil libertarian terms, is just another iteration of the Reagan Coalition - The only conservatives *not* mentioned are the warhawks/foreign policy wonks... But they are not unrepresented in the TEA Party either... It IS Reagan, albeit without allegiance to the Republican party (which is the truly remarkable thing).

And secondly, that it has always been about the Christian Right - there is no other single demographic that can turn out 60m voters (in a field of 300m, that’s A LOT). there is no other demographic that comes complete with boots-on-the-ground in earth-shattering numbers, their own media networks, their own independent organizational structures, and the ability to triple in size for the candidate they desire. If one can harness the Christian Right to the task, one WILL win. That’s just the truth of it.

It should not go without saying that the Republicans dissed the Value Voters for Saddleback forum, and for the first time offered up a presidential and vice-presidential candidate who did not believe that LIFE is a constitutionally protected right afforded to the unborn. One might crunch the numbers that DID vote in the last season, but what is more important are the ones who did not. And in my experience, a good many Christians stayed home because they could not vote *for* LIFE (and with me among them).


17 posted on 08/26/2011 2:55:42 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Thanks for the input


18 posted on 08/26/2011 3:15:08 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights
"Voters of faith helped the GOP gain 63 seats and control of the House, and helped elect new governors like John Kasich in Ohio, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. "

Voters of faith have ALSO helped elect innumerable democrats.

While "Christian Conservatives" voted 73% for McCain in 2008..."Christian Liberals" voted in equal or more numbers for Obama.

Ralph Reed is spouting a selective truth in this article. He is being selective to promote the lie that Christians vote overwhelmingly GOP.

A more accurate measure would be, at least, to break down the statistics as to what percentages of Protestants and Catholics vote for the two parties. Catholics vote more democrat...and Protestants only slightly more GOP.

19 posted on 08/26/2011 3:17:27 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner; wmfights
A more accurate measure would be, at least, to break down the statistics as to what percentages of Protestants and Catholics vote for the two parties. Catholics vote more democrat...and Protestants only slightly more GOP.

Actually, it's quite a bit more than "only slightly"....

20 posted on 08/26/2011 3:25:35 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: Mariner; Alex Murphy
A more accurate measure would be, at least, to break down the statistics as to what percentages of Protestants and Catholics vote for the two parties.Catholics vote more democrat...and Protestants only slightly more GOP.

Not really, there is a very big difference between the "occasional" Christian and the 7 day a week Born Again Evangelical Christian. Also, there is a difference between the "occasional" Roman Catholic and the 7 day a week Roman Catholic. The more religious the lower the % of liberals.

A great stat from Alex Murphy's post. I believe this is what Ralph Reed is talking about.

73% McCain, 26% Obama - Evangelical/Born-again Protestant14

When we look at 44% of the GOP voters being Evangelical Christians we should be encouraged.

21 posted on 08/26/2011 3:28:21 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Alex Murphy
We were thinking along the same lines. ;-0

I believe it's the religiosity that is the key. It's more pronounced for Evangelical Christians, but we see the same trend among the Roman Catholics.

22 posted on 08/26/2011 3:31:24 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; wmfights

>> “Funny thing is, there’s only about 10,000 Dominionists in the country” <<

.
If you’re counting just North’s bunch, then there’s more.

There’s a large and growing bunch in the DC area that are much more dangerous because so many judges and elected officials are among them, named Opus Dei.


23 posted on 08/26/2011 3:31:33 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Sarah Palin - 2012!)
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To: editor-surveyor; Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
There’s a large and growing bunch in the DC area that are much more dangerous because so many judges and elected officials are among them, named Opus Dei.

I hadn't even thought about it that way because the article was about conservative Evangelical Christians. The left is terrified of us. I don't think they worry about the RCC because it preaches social justice and believes in hierarchical power structures not decentralized independent organizations.

24 posted on 08/26/2011 3:41:15 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Funny thing is, there’s only about 10,000 Dominionists in the country - and they’re only known at all because Gary North is, unfortunately, such a prolific writer and spreads his ecclesiological and eschatological heresies far and wide.

It's not "Scary Gary" North that I'm worried about, it's the pentcostalist dominionists.

25 posted on 08/26/2011 4:14:23 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: Mariner

Historically: Protestants Republican, Catholics Democrat.

Protestants voted Democrat in 1932, 1936, and 1964, that is it.


26 posted on 08/27/2011 2:01:19 AM PDT by ansel12 ( Bristol Palin's book "Not Afraid Of Life: My Journey So Far" became a New York Times, best seller.)
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