September 3, 2008
Is Obama's Evangelical Outreach Now Hopeless?
I asked Mark DeMoss, Christian PR mogul who earlier said Obama was making real inroads in the evangelical community, whether it was now "game over" for Obama and his evangelical outreach efforts. He paused and thought for a moment. "Yes. I think so." Obama has been hurt by three things:
1. 1) Obama's poor performance on abortion at the Saddleback candidates forum
2. 2) Obama's position that faith based charities couldn't get federal money if they hired people only if their own faith
3. 3) McCain's pick of Sarah Palin.
"That's three strikes," said Demoss.
I think there's one more variable: if Obama pushes a plausible abortion reduction agenda, he might still convince moderate evangelicals that he has a moderate approach. But early signs are that the Obama campaign is not headed that way. A new radio ad hits McCain for opposing abortion, without mentioning Obama's abortion-reduction ideas.
This article is cross-posted from Steve Waldman's blog at Beliefnet.