Religious Voters and Obama


(system) #1

The good folks over at Faith in Public Life crunched the numbers last night and they show a significant shift in America's religious landscape and its voting patterns.

It would be interesting to see how last night's voting broke down along Adventist lines, not only weekly attendance, ethnicity, and region, but also level of education.

Religious attendance and the so-called “God Gap”:

-- Obama increased his share among all church attendance groups, but he made his greatest gains among voters who attend church more than once per week, narrowing a 29-point GOP advantage (64% - 35%) to a 12-point GOP advantage (55% - 43%). This represents an 8-point increase among a strongly Republican group. -- Obama won monthly attenders 53% - 46%, while Kerry lost them 49% - 51%, a 4-point pickup. Roman Catholics: -- Obama beat McCain soundly among Catholics (55% - 44%), performing better than Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000. -- Among white Catholics, Obama narrowed the Republican advantage from Bush’s 13-point advantage (56% - 43%), with McCain holding only a 5-points advantage (52% - 47%). -- In FL, Catholics swung from the Republican party to the Democratic party. Obama improved upon Kerry's Catholic performance by 16 percentage points, from trailing by 15 points in 2004 (57% - 42%) to leading by 1 point (50% - 49%) in 2008. -- In IN, a 13-point GOP advantage in 2004 (56%-43%) disappeared, with Catholics split evenly between the candidates (50%-50%). -- However, in PA, McCain won Catholics 54%-46%, increasing GOP advantage from Bush’s margin of 52%-48%.

White Evangelicals: -- White evangelicals turned out solidly (23% of the vote) and strongly supported McCain (75% to 24%), but evangelical support for McCain was 5 points lower than support for Bush (79%) in 2004. -- In a number of states (including OH, MO, MI, IN, and NC) white evangelical turnout increased over 2004, but this increase did not favor McCain. For example: -- In NC, white evangelical turnout was up 6 points from 36% to 42%, but McCain’s support (75% to 24%) was down 9 points from the strong advantage Bush held over Kerry (84% to 16%). -- In OH, white evangelical turnout increased by 5 points (from 25% of the electorate in 2004 to 30% in 2008) and McCain’s support (70% to 28%) was down 6 points from Bush’s 76%-24% lead in 2004. -- In CO, GOP advantage narrowed by 15 points among white evangelicals, from 86%-14% in 2004 to 71%-27% in 2008.

(PDF of these findings available here.)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1178