Evangelicals Moving to Obama is Media Hoax

I am vindicated!

As I have long suspected, (December 10, and January 4) the evangelical vote is not moving toward Obama as the MSM has been reporting since last November. In fact, support for Obama among Evangelicals at this point in the election cycle (25%) is slightly less than it was for John Kerry (26%) four years ago! GetReligion.org reports this media hoax based on Pew research figures.

Take this story from Wednesday’s Waco Tribune-Herald. Reporter Terri Jo Ryan begins her piece this way:

For more than 20 years, evangelical Christians have been viewed as a monolithic voting block, and that rock belonged to the Republican Party.

But the 2008 election has seen more younger and politically independent evangelicals telling pollsters they back Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama

Have they? She cites no evidence — other than anecdotal — that evangelicals are, in fact, backing Obama. The story is long and does quote a professor throwing water on the supposed inroads with evangelicals. But if you’re going to claim that polls show increased evangelical support — provide the data. That Pew poll, released later this week, doesn’t support Ryan’s lede.

Twenty-six percent of white evangelicals supported Kerry at this time in 2004. This year, 25 percent of white evangelicals support Obama. Some migration!

But the media seem to have decided that the story of this campaign will be the movement of white evangelicals from the Republican Party to the Democratic. And they’ll probably just beat that horse until it happens.

Not to mention the fact that Obama is way, way, way behind among Catholics.

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2 Responses to Evangelicals Moving to Obama is Media Hoax

  1. Marcia Ford says:

    A large group of evangelicals recently set up a PAC to get Obama elected. I can’t put my finger on the link right now, but it’s a group affiliated with Envision ’08 and, I think, Brian McLaren.

    Also, in my extensive research for “We the Purple: Faith, Politics and the Independent Voter,” I talked with a number of evangelicals who at the time (pre-primaries) said they would vote for the Dem candidate no matter who it was, just to get the GOP out of the White House. That thinking hasn’t changed. I’ve had to stay on top of this because I’m often asked about it in media interviews I’m doing to promote the book.

    Though I do use polls, I rely on them less than I do on other evidence out there, such as the PAC I just mentioned. Poll questions can be poorly worded, especially when it comes to matters of faith.

    ~~Marcia Ford, author of “We the Purple: Faith, Politics and the Independent Voter”

  2. Fr. J. says:

    Thanks for your comment, Marcia, and good luck with your book.

    I have a few reactions. First, Brian McLaren is one of the gurus of the Emergent Church movement–which is tiny, tiny, tiny among Evangelicals while being media savvy enough to get undue attention. He is in no way representative of evangelicals and most of the evangelical movement’s leadership has denouced his decidedly unevangelical agenda.

    Second, there have always been evangelicals who were liberal on issue related to poverty and social justice, such as the Sojourners movement. They are evangelicals but not fundamentalists or part of the religious right. They are the 1/4 who support Obama and supported Kerry. The real issue is that the media has been claiming a movement of conservative evangelicals to the left. This just plain is not happening. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.

    Third, I would not imply that Pew has sorvey questions that are poorly worded. They are every bit as reliable as Gallup. Using non scientific observations is simply being anecdotal, which really gets us nowhere. So there is a new PAC. So what? This in itself cannot be a basis for the claim that conservative evangelicals are moving to the right. They simply are not.

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