Religion and the 2008 election

I am compiling some data regarding special interest voting, religion and the 2008 election. This post serves as an open forum for readers who see polls or data regarding various interest groups (e.g., pro-life, those not favoring gay rights, Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, etc.). Just add them to the comments section. I will be adding to the post throughout the day and evening.
First up is Christianity Today’s Evangelical vote map. There you can find a compilation by Ted Olson of how the Evangelical vote went from state to state. Looks like the percentage of Evangelical vote is more like the Kerry election than the Clinton years.
Looking at this, I do not see much benefit for McCain to have run on an even more socially conservative platform than he did. He seemed to keep that aspect of the coalition together. And clearly Sarah Palin helped energize that base.
Here is an analysis from Richard Baehr at American Thinker. He looks at the data and says white voters stayed home and minorities voted in record numbers. I have to add that his observation that California, New York and Illinois accounted for the lion’s share of the vote difference between Obama and McCain might say something about how blue those states have become.
And the youth vote…
This article from LifeNews indicates that the Catholic vote went for Obama.
Weekly churchgoers went for Obama a bit more than for Kerry:

Despite heavy religious outreach by Obama, exit poll results suggested white evangelicals voted for John McCain 74 to 25 percent, roughly similar to 2004 results. The gap among weekly churchgoers, however, closed a bit: McCain beat Obama by a 54-44 percent margin, compared to George W. Bush’s 61-39 percent win with the group in 2004.

The New York Times reports gains for Obama over Kerry among younger evangelicals and in important swing states (e.g., CO). My impression is that Obama will have a relatively short window of opportunity to solidify these gains. If he doesn’t deliver on the concerns of the younger set, we may see quite a backlash next time around.

22 thoughts on “Religion and the 2008 election”

  1. …if the icon fits….
    No, not really the Catholics though. There’s a leaning towards things iconic throughout the branches of Christendom…through all of humanity, perhaps.
    But—we seriously digress from the topic. 🙂

  2. LOL!!!!!
    Not only that they’ll question everything about him. Old story – will we recognize him???

  3. Mary–
    I envision Jesus coming in the clouds in all His glory and people looking at the pictures in their wallets or on their walls saying “That’s not Him. He doesn’t look a bit like the picture!”

  4. I know. We still hold our hand up with palm facing others to say hello to say we are disarmed. Think of the symbolism (hand on the bible, and hand held palm out to others) We are disarmed when we swear upon the bible. In more ways than one. If I had to swear in on something – I would not. Simple.

  5. Mary-
    I’m in agreement. I knew ‘superstition’ was an inadequate word and I, too, was going to reference ‘let your yes be yes…’ but there’s this weird part apart from the disobedience where there’s a sense that people feel the ritual adds some power to the oath.

  6. Ah . Does not the the NT require that we do not swear on the Lord and instead make our yes a yes and our no a no.
    It’s not even a superstition as much as it is a command not to do so.
    That’s all. My whole life I have wonder about people who do this act. I find it very strange.

  7. Mary–
    You tossed my name into your first sentence with a few question marks thrown in behind it…evidently trying to make a point but the only point I could find is that it’s unbiblical. I thought that’s what I was saying when I said the tradition was akin to ‘swearing on your mother’s grave’…that somehow a solemn statement takes on some magical power when it is sealed by some sort of oath sworn on a book or on the final resting place of a dead person. To me, swearing on the Bible isa superstitious rite.

  8. Swearing upon the bible or the wrod of God – Eddy??? – is unbiblical. I used to wonder about that all the time. And I went to a Catholic school!!
    But yeah, Christians have thought of this as a christian country – sort of missing the point or our heritage – religious freedom – anyone?? And they act so surprised that freedom means everyone – even our friends who believe differently than us. The problem with christians trying to “get their way” is that they have insisted that someone took it away. Instead of returning to our document known as the constitution, and using the rules set therein to fight for their right to have their religious freedom they have been trying to use the document to prevent others from such freedoms. Tsk, tsk. Funny how this country is still about freedom.
    It’s just that christians used to be the majority and for the most part in the past they were more conservative than today’s thinker and voter. So, everything was fine until they looked around and saw that other people believe differently.
    NOw the problem of course, is that secularism and “respect for diversity” have become their own sort of religion or social dogma that has also gone too far. As usual, we need to sort this out as a country and try to include everyone without homogenizing religion, ethnicity, etc…

  9. Nope! The occasion of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, takes its name and occurs on the eve of All Saints Day. While I’m not sure if it was ‘anti’ in the sense of ‘against’ but it most certainly was meant to be the antithesis.

  10. Eddy,
    I agree with everything you said above – and I appreciate it, for what its worth. However, I don’t believe Halloween has ANTI-religious roots – Halloween has roots in a different religion.

  11. Can somebody explain Jewish vote turnout? I don’t understand how it is possible. Am I missing something?
    Any coment?

    the amount of them voting for Obama doesn’t make any sense to me. Obama will meet President Tom from Iran what will legitimize Iran’s position against Israel. Aren’t they aware of that?

    Just because the McCain campaign engaged in a smear campaign alleging anti-semitism doesn’t make it true. Just because Joe the Plumber agreed that Obama would be the “Death of Israel” doesn’t make it true.
    The pick of Rahm Emanuel – a pro-Israel, highly competent technocrat – should be reassuring.

  12. FAC–
    There’s actually a very sensible reason why the liberals ‘have been trying to ban christianity from any public place.’ It seems that over the years, the Christians have presumed that they were both the majority and the ones who were right. So they tilted the balance unfairly. We had prayer in school in my day, led by the principal or perhaps the homeroom teacher, and although i was of a Christian faith, I wondered how appropriate it was to compel someone of another belief to be a part of those prayers. When Joe Lieberman, a Jewish man, was our vice-presidential candidate, I wondered if we’d still have him take the oath of office with his hand on a Christian Bible and pray for him ‘in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ’. (My own take on this is that taking the oath with your hand on the Bible was akin to the childish taunt ‘swear on your mother’s grave’…”Don’t just swear it, swear it by something that is very close to your heart.” But the fact that the majority, if not all, of our national leaders were, at the least, nominal (in name only) Christians, led to the tradition of swearing on a Bible and being prayed over/blessed by a Christian minister–most notably Billy Graham.)
    Americans often refer to our nation as ‘a Christian nation’; this is an affront to the multitudes who are also American citizens but who believe differently. We did remove prayer from schools but substituted ‘a moment of silence’…where a Christian isn’t banned from praying. I believe we also still allow for groups of Christian students to meet either before or after school. So, in truth, Christianity isn’t banned but it also isn’t given special favor.
    The reason restrictions were placed on saying “Merry Christmas”…especially in retail stores and government places…is that Christians were saying it indiscriminately. They were saying it to ALL their customers and visitors oblivious to the fact that those people might be Jewish, Muslim or another non-Christian belief. (If we try to say that this really shouldn’t be offensive to them, we’re actually saying that the words have already lost their true meaning.) We get away with Happy Holidays because several of the faiths have Holy Days that all fall into that time of year…and then there’s New Years thrown in which isn’t religious by any standard.
    Where I believe the problem lies, though, is when schools and public places won’t allow for the Christ of Christmas but still acknowledge the holiday with the commercial trappings of Christmas…Santa Claus, etc. I have similar feelings towards Halloween. They call it a secular event implying that it has no religious connotations and yet we know that it does have roots that are somewhat anti-religious. Mardi Gras is perhaps the most corrupted. If a public school celebrates Mardi Gras (the Fat Tuesday that precedes 40 days of Lent) without then allowing for an acknowledgement of what Lent really means, this is certainly unfair. The same goes with celebrating Easter as the feast of chocolate bunnnies and candy. I guess they’d call me a ‘scrooge’ but I’d like to see both the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus banned from the classroom along with the portrayals of the Risen Christ or Christ in the manger.
    If our government requires our children to be schooled, then government has the responsibility not to push one belief over another. We’ve got a very long way to go in sorting this out. I’m reminded of something I learned in Bible school that seems to ring true. Much of life is like a pendulum…a swing in one direction results in an equal swing in the other. If we go extreme in one direction, that will likely result in an extreme swing in the other. I believe we’ve experienced the extremes and I’m praying that that the pendulum will start hovering closer to a center that we can all live with.

  13. Thanks Warren, I meant the amount of them voting for Obama doesn’t make any sense to me. Obama will meet President Tom from Iran what will legitimize Iran’s position against Israel. Aren’t they aware of that?
    As a matter of fact any christian vote for Obama doesn’t make sense. Everybody knows how the liberals have been trying to ban christianity from any public place. They started with goverment own places(public schools, federal buildings,etc) then put such a pressure on business that Merry Christmas has became Happy Hollydays. The time we are living doesn’t make sense I’m afraid to tell somebody Merry Christmas anymore, I could get sued for that.!!

  14. FAC – Do you mean the amount of voters or the high percentage for Obama? If you mean the higher percentage, it speaks to the liberalism which is common among Jewish voters.
    Also, readers, see new updates in the main post.

  15. Can somebody explain Jewish vote turnout? I don’t understand how it is possible. Am I missing something?
    Any coment?

  16. Is White Correlated with Evangelical?
    From “Restore America”
    National Election: Update and Observations
    Exit Poll Figures & Perspective
    November 6, 2008
    The following election data compiled from 17,836 Voter Surveys taken across the country immediately after a person voted, provides perspective on the November 4th Election.
    Totals and Percentages
    U.S. Population 303,000,000
    Voter Turnout (64% at last available count) 125,000,000
    Barack Obama (52%) 64,000,000
    John McCain (47%) 60,000,000
    How religious training – or the lack thereof – affected the Vote
    Amongst other data from the exit poll surveys, the following survey findings should enlighten, disturb, and inform the Evangelical Christian Community:
    Vote By Religion
    54% of the entire vote cast were caste by Protestants. Of those voters, 45% voted for President Elect, Barack Obama. 54% cast their votes for Senator John McCain.
    27% of the vote cast were cast by Catholics. Of those voters, 54% voted for Obama and 45% voted for McCain.
    2% of the vote were cast by those of the Jewish Faith, 78% of whom voted for Obama and 21% for McCain.
    6% of the vote were cast by those of Other religious faiths. Of those, 73% voted for Obama and 23% for McCain.
    12% of the vote cast were cast by those of No particular religious faith, 75% of whom voted for Obama and 23% for McCain.
    White Evangelical / Born Agains
    26% of the entire Vote cast.
    24% Voted for Barack Obama.
    74% Voted for John McCain.
    (Of the 74% White Caucasians who said they were NOT Evangelical or Born Again, 62% Voted for Barack Obama, and 36% Voted for John McCain.)
    White Protestant / Born Agains
    23% of the entire Vote cast.
    26% Voted for Barack Obama.
    73% Voted for John McCain.
    White Protestant / Not Born Agains
    19% of the entire Vote Cast.
    44% Voted for Barack Obama.
    55% Voted for John McCain.
    All Others
    58% of the entire Vote cast.
    67% Voted for Barack Obama.
    31% Voted for John McCain.

  17. Mine from glimpses of the morning news. Brokaw, Stephanopolous, et al.
    Noted that urban areas surrounding colleges populated with voting age students and recent grads went with Obama.
    One poll actually went after ‘small business owners making $200,000 or more’, surprisingly, more supported Obama. (I’m thinking Diane Sawyer on this one.)
    Sorry, my morning routine allows for about twenty minutes total but it’s all in ‘getting ready for work’ mode so gaps do exist!

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