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November 7, 2008

A Generation Gap Among Evangelicals

We numbers junkies thank Laurie Goodstein at the New York Times for doing a special slice-and-dice on the exit polls that gives us this fascinating nugget:

Obama doubled his support among evangelicals (Obamagelicals, as we like to call them) ages 18-29 (getting 32% compared to 16% in 2004).

What the Times didn't mention is that Obama actually went down among evangelicals 65 and older (Kerry got 32% of them; Obama got 26%)

In other words, in 2004 the senior evangelicals were more Democratic than the juniors. Now it's the other way around.

(Originally posted at Steve Waldman's blog at Beliefnet.)

Comments

Something to keep in mind when reading this assessment:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2008/11/raw_data.html

And what CT did not mention is that Obama fell only 1 point short of doubling his support among the next oldest age group of evangelicals -- 30 to 44 year olds. Thus, it is more accurate to say that Obama nearly doubled his support for evangenlicals 18 to 44 years old!

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones does not dispute the NYT's numbers. He just doesn't think it's all that important that weekly church-goers swung more toward Obama than toward Kerry because Obama picked up a greater proportionl of the voting population at large and Drum says the church-goers were just doing what everyone else was doing. That doesn't undermine the point CT was making.

And what CT did not mention is that Obama fell only 1 point short of doubling his support among the next oldest age group of evangelicals -- 30 to 44 year olds. Thus, it is more accurate to say that Obama nearly doubled his support for evangenlicals 18 to 44 years old!

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones does not dispute the NYT's numbers. He just doesn't think it's all that important that weekly church-goers swung more toward Obama than toward Kerry because Obama picked up a greater proportionl of the voting population at large and Drum says the church-goers were just doing what everyone else was doing. That doesn't undermine the point CT was making.

I am very curious how the various exit pollsters adjust and edit for racial demographics, especially in reporting on "evangelical" voters.

On one of the Christian radio stations i listen to (The Light Network) this week i heard about a Barna poll allegedly showing 88% of "real" (very narrowly defined it sounded like, but it was a sound bite report) evangelicals voting 88% for McCain.

IF this is so (which i doubt) -- i am pretty sure the only way they can get these inflated numbers is, in my view, by using virtual-apartheid methods of racial segregation in defining electoral groups and reporting on their alleged voting patterns.

A host of reporting suggests African American Christians (who are by most polling data i've seen, predominantly evangelical by classical definitions, theologically) went for Obama by somewhere between 97-99%. I would be very surprised if Hispanic evangelicals (not reported anywhere i've seen recently) voted for Obama at much less than the overall Hispanic rate of about 65% -- and Asian-American Evangelicals (i am married to one) i am guessing again probably voted more closer to 50-50 than the overall trends reported here and in more extreme form by Barna.

I've been wondering about this at least since the Oct CT cover story, which reported similar to Barna...

As a long time subscriber i am wondering -- what can CT say about its own handling of definitions of evangelical and aggregating or segregating evangelical voters by race?

I hope a CS Lewis, John Stott, or Bishop Charles E Blake definition of evangelical still counts.

Grace and peace,

Tim Atwater

And your point is??? Obama got significantly higher numbers in all kinds on groups, demographics, race, gender, etc, etc. Sincerely don't mean to be critical, but does a person really need to be a "numbers junkie" to figure this one out??

Folks,
I also enjoy the numbers, stats, the who, what, where, way and when ... and how the USA is ruined and we are headed for hell because the wrong person got elected.

But, give all this talk a rest -- PLEASE -- like it or not, we have a new president facing alost of issues and national problems.

Let's act like the Christian we claim to be, and walk the walk insted of just talking the talk.

Our country needs you, me and everyone to help -- instead of debating why help is required.

GENERATION OBAMANATION IS THE WORD