[A]n ABCNews/Washington Post poll released Monday showed Sen. Obama now leading among Mainliners 53%-44%, indicating that the undecided voters are breaking heavily for the Democratic candidate.
Why? The superficial answer is, as with so many other questions, the economy. In Beliefnet’s Twelve Tribes study, 68% of centrist Mainliners (what we called “White Bread Protestants”) said the economy was the No. 1 issue compared with just 4% who said social issues.
But that only gets at part of the riddle.
In some ways, Sen. McCain is actually an ideal candidate to appeal to this group – a mainline Christian himself (raised Episcopalian), he talks about fiscal discipline and earmarks.
The Mainline shift to Sen. Obama may be partly an unintended consequence of Sen. McCain’s efforts to energize evangelical Christians, including through the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Though fiscally conservative, mainline Protestants are socially liberal – so they would be unimpressed by the Republican Party adopting the most antiabortion platform ever. Mainliners may be irritated or scared by Gov. Palin’s religious language and beliefs – including her attendance at a Pentecostal church espousing “End Times” theology (that we’re approaching the end of the world and Christ’s return).
Waldman’s entire column is available here.
Meanwhile, Chad Groening at OneNewsNow writes:
Dr. Charles W. Dunn, dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, believes that even if Obama wins, Americans should give John McCain credit for picking Sarah Palin as his running mate.
“She is the heir apparent to conservative leadership. She is the heir apparent to having the mantle of Ronald Reagan bestowed upon her. She is the heir apparent to becoming the Margaret Thatcher of America,” Dunn contends. “If she does not stub her toe along the way, she has a very bright future.”
OneNewsNow is a division of the American Family Network.