October 30, 2008
Poll: How Pastors Will Vote
A little over half (53 percent) of Protestant pastors plan to vote for John McCain compared with 20 percent who plan to vote for Barack Obama, a new poll suggests. A full 22 percent were undecided in the LifeWay Research poll conducted October 10-28.
Sixty-six percent of self-identified evangelical pastors plan to vote for McCain while 13 percent are for Obama and 19 percent are undecided. A recent Pew Center survey suggested that 67 percent of evangelicals plan to vote for McCain while 24 are for Obama.
Among mainline pastors, 36 percent plan to vote for McCain, 37 percent support Obama, and 24 percent are undecided.
Fifty-three percent of Protestant pastors said that they have personally endorsed candidates for public office this year, but outside of their church roles. Less than 3 percent said that they have endorsed candidates during a church service this year.
This is what surprised Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, a polling organization associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
1. Self identified "mainline" pastors not more pro-Obama (they were split).
2. A sizeable minority of pastors are still undecided.
3. A majority [of] pastors endorsed candidates outside of their church role.