Apparently the fervor isn’t exactly at a fever pitch for McCain, and Mark DeMoss, one of the more high-profile PR flaks for the biggest evangelical groups, is suggesting this could mean a shift to Obama.
You represent some of the nationâ€™s most powerful evangelicals. What do those leaders say about McCain?
This is one guyâ€™s perspective, but I am surprised by how little Iâ€™ve seen or read in conservative circles about McCain since February. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve gotten one email or letter or phone call from anybody in America in the last four months saying anything about this election or urging that we unite behind John McCain and put aside whatever differences we have. Back in the fall and winter, youâ€™d get several things a day from conservatives saying, â€œThe future of the Supreme Court is at stake. We have to stop Hillary Clinton. Get behind so and soâ€”or donâ€™tâ€™ go with this guy.â€ Itâ€™s just very quiet. It could meant thereâ€™s a real sense of apathy or it could mean theyâ€™reâ€™ waiting for the general election to begin. But itâ€™s a surprise, given the way email networks work now.
Barack Obama is trying hard to win evangelical voters. Does that effort stand a chance?
If one third of white evangelicals voted for Bill Clinton the second time, at the height of Monica Lewinsky messâ€”thatâ€™s a statistic I didnâ€™t believe at first but I double and triple checked itâ€”I would not be surprised if that many or more voted for Barack Obama in this election. Youâ€™re seeing some movement among evangelicals as the term [evangelical] has become more pejorative. Thereâ€™s a reaction among some evangelicals to swing out to the left in an effort to prove that evangelicals are really not that right wing. Thereâ€™s some concern that maybe Republicans havenâ€™t done that well. And thereâ€™s this fascination with Barack Obama. So I will not be surprised if he gets one third of the evangelical vote. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if it was 40-percent.
I’m sorry….did he say 40%?
Okay, that’s a big deal and so I’m going to have to put this in perspective.
According to Pew Research, in the 2000 election Bush got 68% of this voting bloc, while Gore got 30%. In 2004, it was Bush with 78% and Kerry with a measly 21%. So if Obama can get 40%, that represents a seismic shift.
So, do you think 40% is realistic given how poorly Democrats have done with these voters the past 8 years?
I forgot about this Gallup poll that was just put out yesterday.
Gallup sees the numbers as such…
McCain leads Obama by 10 points among Protestants and other non-Catholic Christians, the largest religious group in the United States. McCain’s lead would be even larger except for the facts that blacks are most likely to be Protestant and overwhelmingly support Obama. Catholics are a traditional swing group, and McCain and Obama are evenly matched among them at this point. Obama has a significant lead among two reliably Democratic groups — Jewish voters and voters with no religious affiliation.
Even with the black Protestant vote being decidedly in Obama’s corner, I can’t help but think the evangelical vote has to be a bit tighter than usual too.
More as it develops…
A commenter at reddit sees similar trends:
This article is on to something. It’s anecdotal, but all the evangelicals I associate with (granted not many; mostly family) aren’t very excited about McCain and seem apathetic or intrigued by Obama. Hillary is the devil, for some reason, but McCain isn’t exactly the outspoken proponent against gay marriage and abortion that this voting demographic thrives on.
Anybody else have family who isn’t exactly buying what McCain is selling?