Barack Obama, 15 June 2008/John GressIs the Democratic Party really "Godless" and are Republicans really righteous?

Far from it, though there are findings from the monumental U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life which could be used perhaps to make such arguments. You can see our main story on the survey here and the survey itself, which was released on Monday, here.

On partisan affiliation for example, the survey found that Mormons were the most staunchly Republican religious group in America with 65 percent of those polled indentifying with or leaning towards that party.

Members of historically black Protestant churches remain the most reliably Democratic at 77 percent while the Godless crowd was also firmly in that camp. It found that atheists and agnostics leaned heavily Democratic (65 percent and 62 percent respectively).

But among evangelical Protestants, a group normally associated with the Republican Party and social conservative causes, things are less clear cut. The survey found 50 percent of this group tilted Republican but 34 percent of such folk favoured the Democratic Party.

This raises interesting issues. Can presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama woo the faith vote without alienating the party's "atheist base?" Can his Republican rival John McCain woo independent evangelicals?