Abortion Views May Not Hurt Obama Because Americans See Him as Religious

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Views May Not Hurt Obama Because Americans See Him as Religious

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 8
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Barack Obama is arguably the most pro-abortion presidential candidate since Roe v. Wade — with him supporting a bill to overturn all pro-life laws nationwide and votes appearing to support infanticide in Illinois. So why is it that Obama is doing better in the polls that previous pro-abortion candidates?

One explanation, of course, has to do with the difficult economic conditions and Obama’s position as the so-called change candidate who doesn’t hail from the incumbent presidential party.

But a new poll reveals that Obama may be insulating himself from attacks on abortion because of his frequent discussion of religion — which has endeared some pro-life advocates to his campaign.

A new survey from Public Religion Research for the liberal religious group Faith in Public Life finds more Americans say Obama is more religion-friendly than McCain, who prefers to downplay his religious focus and focus on doing the right thing.

Forty-nine percent of Americans say Obama is friendly to religion, while 45% say McCain is friendly to religion. With 71 percent saying it is important for public officials to be comfortable talking about religious values, that’s a handicap for McCain.

The shift is seen in the percentage of highly religious Americans who favor Obama.

McCain has a lead among voters who attend religious services weekly, but for those who attend religious services once or twice a month have moved from 49 percent for previous candidate John Kerry to 60 percent backing Obama.

David Brody, a senior correspondent for CBN News, says the numbers indicate why Obama is doing better than Kerry or Gore.

"Wasn’t all that religious talk supposed to be Republican domain? But these numbers make sense because Obama has engaged the faith community in public and McCain has pretty much stayed away for the most part," he says.

"Obama has done something very smart. By discussing his faith publicly and engaging in God talk, he’s been able to relate to millions of voters in a very real and emotional sort of way," Brody explains.

Brody says the poll numbers are not talking about who has the better policy on abortion, but he agrees that Obama’s "faith talk" is helping insulate him from attacks.

"The McCain campaign wants to show the world that Obama is a true blue liberal and indeed his voting record reflects liberal positions," Brody says.

"But Obama’s zest to discuss morality, God and faith has positioned him differently than a John Kerry four years ago," he concludes. "Kerry came across as a secular northeast liberal and couldn’t shake that label. Obama hasn’t been defined that way and the faith aspect is a central reason why."

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