Poll: Obama’s Christian Outreach Failing, Catholics, Evangelicals Back McCain
by Steven Ertelt
September 19, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll shows Barack Obama’s attempt to reach out to Christian voters, despite his radical pro-abortion position, is failing. The survey, which shows Catholic and evangelical voters backing McCain, explains why Obama launched a new effort to reach out to evangelicals.
John Green of the University of Akron conducted the study just as he did surveys of Christian voters in the 2004 elections.
Presented today at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, the survey finds evangelicals favor McCain over Obama 57.2 percent to 19.9 percent. That’s similar to the 60.4% to 19.6% edge President Bush had over John Kerry at the same point four years ago.
Green said 20 percent of evangelicals say social issues like abortion are most important and that most of those voters are in McCain’s corner.
Although social issues are less important, they continue to resonate in the evangelical community," Green said, according to a Christianity Today report. The Obama campaign has not yet been able to overcome that.
The numbers would likely be higher for McCain, but the survey was conducted prior to him selecting pro-life Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Palin has energized pro-life voters and the evangelical and Catholic communities behind his campaign.
Looking at the survey further, Green found evangelical Protestants and non-Latino Catholics are backing McCain the strongest while black Protestants, Jews and atheists prefer Obama.
Green pointed to the shifts among Latino Protestants and Latino Catholics as two of the biggest changes between the 2004 and 2008 polls, saying they are backing Obama in higher margins.
Green said he was surprised to see the results essentially mirror the ones from 2004 with Obama putting such a focus on trying to take pro-life voters away from McCain. That could be explained by virtue of the fact that the pro-life movement has worked overtime to educate voters that Obama is strongly pro-abortion.
Obama supports unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason and paid for at taxpayer expense. He opposes a ban on partial-birth abortions and is coming under fire for voting four times against medical care for newborns who survive failed abortions.
Green said the numbers could change depending on how the next several weeks of campaigning go — including the presidential debates.
”We may be looking, in some sense, at a replay of the 2004 election, but with different players, so the results could be different,” he said.
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