Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Faith & the Election Booth

A Further Analysis of the 2008 Election


The 2008 election of 2008 took place two weeks ago today. People will be analyzing and reanalysing this election for a long time. I recently read a news article on OneNewsNow.com, “Barna breaks down the 'faith' vote" and the Barna Group survey mentioned in the article. I have framed the results showing how various sectors of the American population voted and why they did so. I focused primarily on the discussion based voters faith or religious affiliation.

I took most of the information form the Barna Group report, “How People of Faith Voted in the 2008 Presidential Race” as found on their website. I extrapolated or estimated the population percentages where Barna did not provide the percentages, I noted those where I did that with an asterisk *)

Here is a summary of the results of the Barna survey results.

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Evangelical Christian Voters (7% of the Nation's Population)
McCain 88%
Obama 11%

Primary reason/motivation for supporting the candidate they selected:
Candidate’s position on moral issues (40%)
Candidates political experience (23%)
Candidates character (15%).
Economic policy (7%)

Born-Again Christians Voters (35%* of the Nation’s Population if you do not include Evangelicals)
McCain 57%
Obama 42%

Primary reason/motivation for supporting the candidate they selected:
Candidates political experience (20%)
Ideas about the country’s future (18%)
Candidates character (17%).
Economic policy (17%).


Non-Born Again Christian Voters (58%* of the Adult Population):
McCain 36%
Obama 62%

Primary reason/motivation for supporting the candidate they selected,
Ideas about the country’s future (28%)
Economic policy (16%)
Candidates political experience (15%)

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The Barna Report further breaks down the vote by the following categories: Protestant, Catholic, Atheist, Other Non-Christian Faith.

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Protestant (61%* of the adult U.S.A. population)
McCain 53%
Obama 46%

Catholics (24%* of the adult U.S.A. population)
McCain 43%
Obama 56% (This is very T R O U B L I N G)

Atheists & Agnostics (10% of the adult U.S.A.population)
McCain 23%
Obama 76%

Non-Christian Faith (e.g., Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, 5% of the Adult U.S.A. Population)
McCain 36%
Obama 62%

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CONCLUSIONS:

Evangelicals are very different from every other voting faith sector. They differ dramatically from born-again Christians as well as Protestants. Moral issues remain the top motivator and reason to vote for a candidate. The majority of Catholics voted for Obama. This may, in part, be due to the high percentage of Hispanic voters who also voted for Obama. Hispanics tend to be overwhelmingly Catholic.

You have Evangelical voters on one end of the political spectrum and voting 9 to 1 for McCain, while on the other end of the spectrum, Atheists and Agnostics voting 4 to 1 for Obama. One of the conclusions of the Barna Group study was that Obama won 2/3s of the moderate or lukewarm middle (my terms).

Finally it seems that the Atheist/Agnostics, which represent on 10% of the population, have influenced America more than the Evangelical 7%. The culture war being fought the last 50-100 years is being won by the godless. They are apparently more committed to their cause than we evangelical Christians are. Obama is just the frosting on a cake that has been baking intensely for the last 5 decades. This should gives us pause to reflect and to recommit ourselves to the cause of Christ, which is indubitably more worthy than any other.

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