McCain, Palin doing less well with younger evangelicals

September 29, 2008

DALLAS – Republican presidential contender John McCain still retains strong support from white evangelical Protestants, but the 72-year-old Arizona senator’s appeal fades with younger voters from this flock.

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That is the findings of a survey that was just done for Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

It found that McCain has the support of 71 percent of white evangelical Christians versus 23 percent for his Democratic rival Barack Obama.

But the numbers narrow somewhat for evangelicals under the age of 30, to 62 percent for McCain to 30 percent for Obama.

McCain has solidified his support with this important component of the Republican base with his choice of Alaska governor Sarah Palin – a staunch conservative Christian and mother of six — as his running mate.

But the survey found that while older white evangelical women were among Palin’s most ardent supporters, women below 30 from that group were far less enthusiastic about her. 

 It found Palin’s favorability rating among white evangelical women below 30 was only 46 percent; compared with 65 percent for white evangelical women over 30. 

President George W. Bush took close to 80 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2004, underscoring its importance to the Republican Party.

Democratic strategists have hoped to make at least some headway into this monolith. Overall, the 2004 election was a close one so even a few votes poached from the other side, especially in closely contested states such as Colorado or Ohio, could make a huge difference to the outcome of the Nov. 4 White House race.

The survey involved 1400 adults, 18 years or older, including an oversample of 400 evangelical Christians ages 18-29. It was conducted September 4-21, 2008.

The margin of error for white evangelical Christians surveyed is 4.1 percent and rises to 5.5 percent for those between the ages of 18 and 29.

(Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg, Sept 26, 2008, USA. Combination images of Senators McCain and Obama speaking at first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi)

30 comments

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Sarah Palin has five children, not six.
Christians can follow the gospel while also having a healthy curiosity about the world and a deep concern for the less fortunate. Palin shows little of these. Her “respect for life” is not a consistent ethic from the womb to the tomb nor does she have a horror of war, as all leaders should. Barack Obama noted that he was born of a teenage mother, and has a huge respect for life. Under his thoughtful leadership we can really begin to move toward better health for all people. Christians are not brain dead. We too want to live in the future.

Posted by Pearl | Report as abusive

Palin has 5 children, not 6 as the article says. Perhaps, however, the author was counting the ‘child to be raised by a child,’ otherwise known as her future grandchild by Bristol.

Posted by Kathleen | Report as abusive

This makes it sound like Obama’s winning the vote from people of faith under 30, when he really isn’t.

Pro-Obama media spin, anybody?

Posted by John | Report as abusive

mcCaain u are horribla and your going 2 win

Posted by briget | Report as abusive

Date:Monday Sept 29,2008
Time:3:13Pm

Hillary PUMA’S

Re:House Of Reperesentives Votes Down Bail Out..isn’t that ironic,

So,why does he, Obama feel the need to rush back to Washgtion, rather than to stay on the campagin trail. Meanwhile, his demoncratic conservates try the tactic of down playing Sarah Palin’s, debate on Tuesday nite, While the media suggest’s “make or break attitutes”. O’yes, we hear there negative convesation about Palin. Yet,this is the same negative feed they gave Hillary R. Hillary in her campagin. But, never fear Hillary’s PUMA’a will be there supporting Palin and watching.

OBAMA’s TEAM should be warned, that Sarah isn’t going anywhere, and that we our expections of Sarah Palin will be inspiring as possible female Vice President Of The United States Of America.

Inconclusion..I would say, to the Gallup Poll researches
don’t you dare under estimate us, with those fancy polling numbers suggesting Obama favoring. Because, the puma’s voices will be heard on election day.

NO OBAMA, NO HOW, NO WAY.

“McCain/Palin 08″

Sincerely,

Emmery Jones Jr
Medical Record’s Admin.CCS-P
Graduate:William Rainey Harper College
I believe, there is nothing either candidate can do at this time but,let the house do it’s fair job in pretecting the tax payers.

This is such a bad article, not even proof read.
5 not 6 kids. And the rest is bunch of meaningless numbers. Put some charts and it would be easier to read.

Posted by yes4me | Report as abusive

Mother of “six?”

She’s had ANOTHER baby? Wow. She really is fecund beyond all logic!

Or are you referring to her husband as her sixth child? Or perhaps Bristol’s carrying Sarah’s next child so she won’t have to wear maternity jackets during her celebrity press interviews (not that she wore maternity clothes during her fifth pregnancy, apparently…).

When Reuters can’t even get the entirely too often quoted number of Sarah Palin offspring right, it makes me wonder what else they’re getting wrong.

One thing that has nagged at me from a very young age and still does today (I am in my 30s now) is that Jesus’ message for believers was, in the most succinct form, love and loving thy neighbor, but when it comes to politics and America in the world, Christians tend toward the republican party. With the exception of the issue of abortion, I can’t understand why that is so. An unborn child’s life is precious, but so are the lives of men and woman. What I mean is, I find it terribly inconsistent that Christians will often support war, fists raised, without the deep level of concern for human life that they seem to hold for abortion, like for example, Jesus’ ardent opposition to war. Why is that? One more thing about abortion, I also dont understand why Republican Christains (belonging to the “small government” party) support laws that legislate whether someone else has an abortion.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

“This makes it sound like Obama’s winning the vote from people of faith under 30, when he really isn’t.

Pro-Obama media spin, anybody?”

Did you read the article? There are poll numbers listed. What spin are you talking about or is that a gut reaction you have to anything that goes against your team? Doing ‘less well’ is exactly that, not as good as old evangelicals, but not necessarily bad with younger evangelicals.

Drop the paranoia

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

It is difficult for me as a white christian to understand how can white evangelicals support the “old man” with progressive cancer and a 44 year-old woman that thinks and talks like a 14 year old. There most be something wrong with the “food” people consume in those areas. Or is it a lack of brain cells??

Posted by Elizabeth Jimenez | Report as abusive

9/29
There’s a reason church & state are separate. Moving on—
McCain could die in office, Palin would screw up the 1st big test, then who would we be stuck with? YIKES!

Dear Emmery, even Republicans are asking Palin to step down for the sake of the GOP and the country.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

Posted by Anna | Report as abusive

McCain should dump Palin and put Manny Ramirez on the ticket. He’s a lot better hitter than Palin is.

Posted by Gerry | Report as abusive

Right to life sounds good unless your 18yrs old,basically of modest means, old enough to carry a rifle to kill people in a distant land for a cause thats not clear,with a goal thats not definitive.Does this even sound the least bit like a few previous WARS that the USA has engaged in???Is it not the duty of every citizen that is a PATRIOT to question WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???We cannot afford another 4yrs. of this kind of leadership.MCSAME and PALIN are a complete enbarassment.Shame on all those that vote for that ticket!!!

The one thing I most resent is republicans judging all who disagree with them as “Godless” The God I worship is not political. He believes in loving and respecting everyone, even if you disagree with some of their beliefs. I also oppose abortion, but on many other issues I believe Obama will be a much better choice

Posted by Charlie | Report as abusive

Yes, Christians can still think! I’m surprised at the large numbers still supporting McCain/Palin, since it is becoming ever more evident that the Republicans are mostly using our Christian vote to divide and harm, rather than focusing on what Jesus taught – to care for those less fortunate, to avoid war and to make peace with enemies, and to do what is right. Having unqualified people in office isn’t responsible and certainly isn’t Christian. With Palin’s lack of experience and McCain’s health problems and erratic behavior, my conscience won’t let me vote for them.
A 53 year old white female Christian

Posted by lucyblue | Report as abusive

The McCain Campaign sets some wonderful examples for all Americans:

1. John McCain shows us it is okay to tell lies to the American people when campaigning, because what matters is the end result, not how you get there.

2. Sarah Palin teaches us, scarily, “U.S. soldiers are on a task that is from God” in Iraq. Sounds like a Holy War to me.

3. John also shows us it is okay to cheat on your spouse, and divorce and get remarried one month latter.

4. John shows us it is okay to use F-words in every other sentence to family and fellow legislators.

5. Sarah shows us it is fine for your kids to have sex before marriage. And, as she attempted, try to get them married before running for VP to cover up the fact.

6. Sarah shows us it is okay to charge the state for all of your expenses while staying at home.

7. Cindy McCain shows us it is okay to be a drug addict and a thief.

8. The McCains show us people can relate to you even if you own 8 homes worth more than $15 million located in three states.

9. Sarah shows us, it’s okay to campaign and say you are against earmarks even though you got hundreds in millions in earmarks for the state of Alaska.

10. Sarah shows us it is great to talk in “tongues” and to pray like her church to God that gays can be “cured.”

You gotta Love those wonderful Republican “family values.” From the party that brought us Senator Larry Craig and Richard Nixon.

Posted by Michael John | Report as abusive

Our ancestors would just freak out if they had known that a christian would ever even consider voting for a presidential candidate that condones murdering babies. Obama was against the the ban on partial birth abortion. He saw no reason to stop a partial birth abortion. A partail birth abortion is.—A womman can be 8-9 months, (and by the way if the baby wasnt aborted it could be delivered, wrapped in a blanket and taken home)the baby is partially delivered, it is then stabbed in the back of the head with a knife and then its brains are sucked out. It is called MURDER!!!! Obama does not respect life life like Pearl said. Who is next -Your elderly grandmother, a child with a disability or maybe even you because a government official does not like you. Look how far we have come in the last 100 years. Who will they be murdering in five years. This is reality folks. And most americans dont want to face the truth.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

I think Christians need to take a hard look at what the Republican party became wedded to in the past 8 years and how wedge issues were used to get Christians on board while those who took the votes did very unchristian things.

God is in every moment of history, but I feel him very strong at this moment in time. This is a testing time.

Posted by JayKay2 | Report as abusive

Sorry, Sue, but I and probably most of the rest of the country just don’t consider abortion to be equivalent taking a born baby and bashing its head against a rock as you imply. Abortion came out of the planned family movement of the ’60′s that became possible with the invention of the Pill, and abortion is a form of birth control to most of us, not the murdering of already born babies. If you have a great need to keep babies alive I’d suggest you head over to e.g. Congo or Rwanda or Romania or China where there are a great number of actual, born babies in peril of their lives. As to intact dilation and extraction, I’m sure there are perfectly good medical reasons why such a procedure may need to be performed to save the (already existing) life of the mother, and that it’s already a very hard decision for her to make without all the Bible thumpers getting in her face making her feel worse about it than she already does. What gives you the right to step in and make decisions about that woman and how she cares for her health? Perhaps she’d be in great peril of dying during childbirth, so which would you rather have, a live woman or a dead woman? Choose, Solomon.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

McCain must have been clean off his rocker when he thought Palin would do him any good.

Can anyone see her as president if McCain goes sick, or worse?

Give me a break! It beggars belief that the great USA would actually be run by someone with so little experience let alone suitability.

I think the McCain ticket should be on a train back to his hometown and a well-earned retirement.

As for Sarah Palin, I shall remain incapable of any suggestions as to what she should do with her time.

I have absolutely no idea as long as she stays away from prime politics.

She can dream but she can’t cut the mustard!

Posted by TheTruthIs... | Report as abusive

Newsflash:: There is no heaven or hell!! This is about politics and not religion. Go back to your pulpits and get out of the way for the rest who don’t want to hear your religious rantings.

Go Obama, and to hell with the conservative whackos!!!

Posted by artwych | Report as abusive

Young Christians are not quite as naive as their parents because even though most of their parents disapprove, they are much more tuned in with technology (even the home-schooled kids) and that invariably leads them into much greater contact with the outside world.

This contact inevitably leads at least some of them to access information that exceeds the political limits of the information that they deal with within their extended family community.

This tends to give them substantially more sophisticated BS detectors, which allows them to contrast actual information about the world with the tenets and dictates of their faith.

This frequently leads to more sophisticated world-views, as evidenced by the growing evangelical participation (at least among some sectors of the movement) with the work on hunger, global warming, human rights, economic justice, and other traditionally “liberal” causes.

Barack Obama has made a conscious effort to reach out to that sector of the evangelical community, and those efforts have paid off, particularly with the younger voters, despite the impact of the “Sarah Palin Effect”.

This is why, more than any other single factor in my opinion, that the Obama campaign is doing much better than the Kerry campaign amongst these voters.

I am a young evangelical. Well, OK, I’m 46 and my wife is 45, but we still feel young. We have been saddened over the past 8 years at the way that our Brothers and Sisters in Christ attack and reject others out of hand based on their political persuasion, or based on THE two key wedge issues: pro choice/life and gay marriage. We have determined that our community (we attend a non-denominational church of 2,500) is less open to others opinions than ever before. Many other Christian communities in our area of upstate NY are even more unwilling to give Obama a second look. However, we do have to believe that if there there are folks like us (are family is fully backing Obama/Biden), then there are probably many others. My guess is that many do not feel comfortable stating their political beliefs for fear of being ostracized.

Posted by Kb | Report as abusive

This country was founded on religious freedom–that means all people can determine their own religious beliefs and the government has NO say in what that belief will be.

Politics and religion do not mix. Get over it!

The choice of Palin was made to cause a shockwave with voters. It has backfired and she is finally being exposed for the inexperienced, prejudiced human being that she is. Do you really want this woman to be President Palin? Heaven help us!

Evangelicals of the USA are not the only God-fearing people on our planet. Educate yourselves and realize that each of us must get along in a global environment. Try to act like a “smart” person and pass this one up.

I just wish that Obama would be more honest about his Muslim beliefs.

Posted by Steven | Report as abusive

Palin is a bone to fundamentalists, people McCain despises at heart but knows are his only remote hope at office. So the old man sold his soul and picked a lying incompetent to satisfy Dobson and his ilk. And they are satisfied, since all they want are compliant fundie idiots in office. But the rest of America is seeing what a putrid and worthless bone the desperate old man came up with, and they aren’t falling for that swill no more no more…

Posted by Max Power | Report as abusive

Steven: Obama isn’t a Muslim and never was, and even if he were, would that be a reason not to vote for him? I’d happily cast my vote for a Muslim if my only other choice were an extremist evangelical, especially with the country headed off the cliff like it is.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Excerpt from Emmery: “Inconclusion..I would say, to the Gallup Poll researches don’t you dare under estimate us, with those fancy polling numbers suggesting Obama favoring. Because, the puma’s voices will be heard on election day.

———————–

Hope the PUMA’s think about America rather than themselves, come election day!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by SK from Sacramento | Report as abusive

Date:Wed Oct 1,2008
Time:10:13PM

Reponse to yes4me…

I read you’re comment about me and the article I wrote. I’m assuming that you didn’t like the article because, it wasn’t proof read well enough for you. Perhap’s, that’s good thing, because, the way I see it, writting to stems more conversation just as, does text messaging from cells phones, which you never read by the way.

“Moving On” Barack’s fund raiser concert set for october sometime.

I have a question for our readers of all ages…What does Barack Obama, & Buce SpringSting & Bill Joel have in commen ? “Nothing” but, after the concert Obama want’s you’re vote anyway.

Sincerely,

Emmery Jones Jr
Health Informaiton Consultant CCS-P
Graduate: William Rainey Harper College