Friday, July 25, 2008

Election Update: Evangelicals for Obama?

If you're paying attention to the presidential election, you've probably seen more than one news report about how Obama is reaching out to evangelical Christians and how evangelicals are planning on voting for him in large numbers. Personally, I don't know how any Christian who cares about abortion and life issues could vote for him, but that's just me. What do the actual data say?
How many pieces have we read in recent months about how evangelical Christians are falling over themselves in a mad rush to support presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama? Every discovery that evangelicals care about more than just the sanctity of human life and traditional marriage is met with hopeful accounts about how the Republican Party is losing these voters to the Democratic Party.

Now, it may be true that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has failed to get many folks, including evangelicals, excited about him. But given all the coverage to the contrary, I was somewhat surprised to see the results of a new Pew study that indicates that Obama is getting slightly fewer — that’s right — fewer white evangelical supporters than John Kerry was at the same time four years ago.

If you follow the link, there are a lot of examples of media coverage saying evangelicals are supporting Obama. It's definitely not a trend that people are imagining.

Here's something interesting, though: voters aren't buying it. About half of Americans believe the media are trying to get us to vote Obama, and the numbers are growing:
The belief that reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the fall campaign has grown by five percentage points over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found that 49% of voters believe most reporters will try to help Obama with their coverage, up from 44% a month ago.

A separate survey released this morning also found that 50% of voters believe most reporters want to make the economy seem worse than it is. A plurality believes that the media has also tried to make the war in Iraq appear worse that it really is.

Interesting. It's heartening to see some sort of evidence that people are catching on to media bias. And this recent, spectacular example should help even more:
If you doubt the media are in the tank for Obama, doubt no more. The refusal of the New York Times to print McCain's op-ed on Obama after an Obama piece was published has nothing to do with editorial judgment and everything to do with protecting the media's heartthrob.

One final note of interest to political junkies: Dr. James Dobson is considering an endorsement for McCain, because he disagrees so strongly with Obama. It's a pretty big deal because up to now, Dr. Dobson was very opposed to McCain's candidacy.
"Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation," Dr. Dobson said in a statement to The Associated Press. "His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to re-evaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain. I have not endorsed him, but … I have concluded for the first time that I might. If that is a flip-flop, then so be it."

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