The dawn of the Evangelical Democrat

Over at The Revealer, Jeff Sharlett writes:

Smart religion writers have been complaining for awhile that exit polls don’t ask Democratic voters about their religious affiliations. Now “Faith in Public Life,” a center-left outfit, has done something about it. Robert P. Jones reports at Religion Dispatches. The implications are huge: In Missouri and Tennessee, one-third of white evangelical voters voted in Democratic primaries. And, more surprising, in both states they favored Hillary over Obama by overwhelming margins: MO: 54% to 37%; TN: 78% to 12%. That blows a hole in the conventional wisdom that Obama represents a “third way” a lot of white evangelicals will follow, but it may confirm an argument about Hillary’s long, slow outreach to Christian conservatives that Kathryn Joyce and I made in Mother Jones last fall.

The survey also finds that a majority of evangelicals want an agenda that goes beyond abortion and homosexuality. Faith in Public Life, and partners like center-leftist Jim Wallis and center-rightist Randy Brinson, announce that finding like it’s news. Not to anyone who’s spent time with ordinary evangelicals and knows that they care as much about poverty and suffering as anyone. The difference was never a matter of what people cared about; it’s an issue of how you want to respond, and on that score, these new numbers may reveal a growing evangelical comfort with big government.

Read it all.

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