Obama and religious voters

The exit polls from last week’s presidential election are starting to show us who voted for whom. One of the most interesting facts that’s being noticed is that the “God Gap”, the way religious voters tend to vote for Republican candidates, is still present in American politics.

President-elect Obama reached out throughout his campaign to religious voters in the Mainline, Catholic and Evangelical churches and to a degree far greater than any recent democratic nominee had done. Yet in spite of this there was still a clear preference for John McCain when most religious voters cast their ballots.

Yet while the gap remains, it was narrowed significantly. The President-elect did much better than any recent candidate has in actually narrowing the gap.

According to polls by Pew Research:

“Analysts pointed out two major reasons for the shift:

  • Most important, perhaps, voters said their decision-making was dominated by economics, not cultural issues with strong religious dimensions such as abortion and same-sex marriage that were so important in 2004.
  • Moreover, Obama worked harder than Kerry in reaching out to faith groups; he also won some hearts in faith communities by speaking about faith in his own life more fluently than Kerry did.

Within religious affiliations, Obama won over Catholics and made inroads among Protestants compared with 2004. He even made a measurable dent among white evangelical Christians, the religious group least disposed to him overall.”

Read the full article here.

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