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October 2, 2008

Poll: Young evangelicals less enthusiastic about McCain

WASHINGTON - Parents may know best, but when it comes to this year's election, fewer young evangelical voters are taking Mom's and Dad's advice into the voting booth, according to a new survey.

While Sen. John McCain maintains a winning margin among white evangelical Christians of all ages, young white evangelical voters are less supportive of McCain than evangelical voters over the age of 30, according to the poll conducted for the PBS program "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc.

McCain has the support of 71 percent of white evangelicals, but only 62 percent of white evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29.

"Evangelical voters have been so solidly Republican in the last 20 years, so if this signals a shift, it could have wide-ranging political implications," said Kim Lawton, the managing editor of "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly."

Some differences on social issues also were highlighted in the survey. A majority of younger white evangelicals support some form of legal recognition for civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples. Older evangelicals are strongly opposed.

Both age groups remain solidly opposed to abortion.

"There's been so much discussion about evangelical voters but there's been very little research," said Lawton. "This is the first to confirm there are some generational differences."
Jeff Fralick, a student at Baylor University, the world's largest Baptist university, may be even more confirmation of a shift.

"I believe that Barack Obama is the best choice for president," Fralick said. "For my parents, however, it is a different story."

Fralick has been actively involved in campaigning for the Democratic nominee on the Christian campus in Waco, Texas.

"In the past I feel that they (older evangelicals) have been swayed by the thought that a responsible and religious person voted one way, conservative," Fralick said of his parents. "They may not agree with it, but they can accept that I am following a good path, though it is different than theirs."

The nationwide survey included 1,400 adults, including 400 young evangelical Christians, and was conducted Sept. 4-21. The margin of error ranged from plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for the overall survey to plus or minus 5.5 percentage points for younger evangelicals.


"In the past I feel that they (older evangelicals) have been swayed by the thought that a responsible and religious person voted one way, conservative," Fralick said of his parents. Well, he is just dead wrong. A casual glance at any poll taken among evangelicals over the years indicates a large percentage voting Democratic, etc. It's too bad that this simplistic and naive reaction to one's own new found political interest was allowed to pass without a comment.

In addition, research has also revealed for some time that people tend to become more conservative as time passes.

This is the double standard that is among so called evangelicals. They oppose abortion but support gay marriage. This just goes to shows that our goverment schools has a huge impact on our young people today. I still don't know how a professed Christian can suppot the Demcratic ticket!!!!

Of course there are choices in many issues to be made when choosing a candidate to vote for. No doubt many young Evangelicals are attracted to the apparent compassion of the Democrats for the poor. Evangelicals have not been inactive in the past however (witness the many charitable organizations thay have founded). They have just been wary of dependence on government; and admittedly not always aware of the sometimes real government indifference to the fate of the poor. However, Evangelicals young or old should be aware that the recognition of "gay marriage" or civil unions can have a profound effect on what is demanded to be taught to children in the schools. Canada's recognition of "gay marriage" is already having an effect.

Why does Obama attract young people?

Ask yourself: “How old were 18-22 year-olds on September 11, 2001?”

Answer: 11-15 years old!!!

The trauma of terror and the memory of the worst attack on American soil is not something seared into the memories of these college-aged voters. I’m sure they remember it, but they don’t have an adult memory of the event. Their adult conscious awareness of America is simply “For as long as I can remember, we’ve been in a long and tedious war.” They cannot recall why we are in this debacle, because they cannot recall the terrors of September 11th.

I’m not convinced that McCain can do anything to gain support among college aged voters, but I would suggest that his campaign bring more attention to the reality of September 11th in our nation’s recent history and how that tragic even has made a gigantic impact on our economy and foreign policy. We didn’t wind up in this mess because Republicans cursed the nation. We are in trouble because terrorists pushed us down to our knees and we’re still trying to get back on our feet.

In response to Isaac Miller 10/2/08. The reason I will vote for Obama is 1) to get us out of Iraq. 2) to have someone in the White House who gives a hoot about the general population in this country re: health care, education etc. 3) Because he is the best man. 4. To undue the harm caused to this country and it's respect in the world by the present administration.

Somebody better be discipling these "young evangelicals", because no Christian should be voting for Barak Obama.

Ken, you sound like a Republican..........all talk and no substance.

Ken, you sound like a Republican.......all talk and no substance.

I'm a Christian voting for Obama. I love the Lord and I know the word. I am a senior. (58 years old) I'm tire of these politicians using Christianity to get votes. Some suppose to be Christians use the bible to justify their actions even when it's wrong. Besides, everyone who claims Christ isn't always in Christ. McCain chooses Sarah Palin who hasn't got a clue. This shows a lack of insight. Sarah Palin is claiming to be a Christian. What real Christian do you know who character assassinates another Christian. Believe me the world is watching how we as Christians treat each other. She needs to clean her own backyard first. If you live in a glass house don't throw stones. She's a heartbeat from president and is not ready for the task. If McCain becomes president, this country is in a lot of trouble. McCain is way out of touch with the people. We need new ideas for the young, not old ideas which truly cater to the old folks. Anyway, God is in charge.

Thanks for this article. I am a "young evangelical" as you describe... a 25-year-old pastor's daughter. I attended a conservative Christian college, work at a church, and have parents who are decidedly Republican. Until this election, I was a passionate, but perhaps ignorant, Republican who always voted a straight Republican ticket. Four years ago, if you would've have suggested the idea of Christians voting for a Democrat for the White House, I would have laughed in your face.

However, the last few years have been eye-opening for me, as I've encountered a number of believers who don't share the conservative ideologies that I did... and many who find evangelicals over-involvement in the political realm to be inappropriate... a "chasing after the wrong kingdom" if you will (for more on this concept, check out the most recent issue of "Leadership" magazine... particularly the opinions of Greg Boyd and Shane Clairborne). Over time, I've come to "re think" my political views.

So, after CONSIDERABLE research and discussion over this matter, I have decided to vote for Obama in this election. I have a sister 2 years younger than me who will probably do the same.

There's probably not enough space in this comment box to explain all the reasons why I chose Obama. Honestly, a huge part of it was McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate... who, though a wonderful woman with strong conservative values, simply does NOT have the experience to be but a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Plus, I have not been impressed with McCain's general conduct in this election... underhanded, deceptive, with lots of mud-slinging towards the opposition.

To say that Christians can't vote Democrat is ignorant and close-minded. Far too many Christians care only about 2 things: Abortion and Gay marriage. Abortion is, and always will be completely appalling to me. Gay marriage? I'm not sure that the government should be the one's to regulate this... though morally I oppose it. However, WE CANNOT BE ONE-ISSUE VOTERS, folks!! Bush was a pro-lifer in office for 8 years... and did we make any "progress" in the fight on abortion?

I admire the work of the Obamas in Chicago... work as community organizers, seeking to build up the poorest and roughest neighborhoods of that community. Since when did we forget that, as believers, our responsibility was also to "the least of these"... the poor, the widow, the alien? Are these not Christian values that the Democratic party has consistently displayed?

Anyways, food for thought. I hope that gives you some insight into the minds of "young evangelicals."

By the way, if you watched to the Vice-Presidential debates last Thursday evening, you would've heard Joe Biden say that, though he and Obama support giving some of the same "rights" to gay couples as married heterosexual couples (visitation at hospitals, tax status?), they both oppose gay marriage.

So, lest that be a hold-back for some Evangelicals, it would seem that McCain and Obama share the same viewpoint when it comes to gay marriage.

Good for them. Professing to be a republican is not synonymous with "dying so that He may live".


The answer to your question is found in the scriptures. When "you remove the speck in your eyes, you will then see better to remove the moat in the eyes of your neighbour". Those who find nothing wrong with a Republican and find everything evil about a Democrat will serve themselves well to remove the speck in their eyes first, then they will understand why some christians have chosen to support some Democrats over Republicans in elections.

why Obama choose Democrat because liberal and democrazy.
Abortion syll meaning killing. what the record of Obama,
no experienced just ambitious to be first man in USA.
Dignity think about that. Asian more dignity than USA

yes brother Obama can change from not allow abortion to be allow abortion and married guy. what his record and what his experienced. weak up man. Dignity

yes brother Obama can change from not allow abortion to be allow abortion and married guy. what his record and what his experienced. weak up man. Dignity

Democrat meaning democrazy, look non biblical abortion and gay married. huh. what's the record of Barack Obama and what his experienced in politic. Both none. wake up man. dignity
Our enemy id terrorist september 11, why our troop in IRAQ

wrong is stil wrong, yes to be yes and no to be no.
that mean abortion and gay married the bas is wrong for people
there is non biblical wake up man