Different Worldviews for Obama, McCain Faithful

Half of John McCain voters believe Barack Obama is or was a Muslim, while many more Obama voters say McCain ran an 'unchristian' campaign, rather than vice versa.

BY: Steven Waldman and Dan Gilgoff

 

Religious Obama voters and religious McCain voters worship and pray at similar rates but interpret the Bible in dramatically different ways--and have starkly different views on the issues—according to a new Beliefnet user survey.

Among those who attend church weekly, 81% of Obama supporters pray daily compared to 93% of McCain’s supporters. But when asked how they interpret the Bible, only 17% of Obama’s most religious voters believe “The Bible is the literal word of God,” compared to 58% of McCain’s religious voters.”

The user survey provides a unique glimpse at the voting patterns and preferences of the most religious of the Obama and McCain constituencies – those who attend church weekly or more. (Exit polls indicated that 55% of those who attend worship services weekly or more voted for McCain while 43% voted for Obama, an improvement over past Democratic performances.)

The survey also provides new comparisons of Obama’s and McCain’s evangelical supporters. Click here for more analysis.

Other key findings:

  • Half of McCain voters believe Obama is or was Muslim, with 31.7% saying “He used to be Muslim and still has too many connections to Islam.”
  • Many more Obama voters believe McCain ran an unchristian campaign, rather than vice versa.
  • Among the most religious voters, Obama supporters believe that education is the best way to reduce abortion, while McCain supporters prefer bans and restrictions on abortion.
  • Supporters of each candidate doubt the religious sincerity of the other candidate.

The survey is not scientific or based on random sampling. It was advertised throughout Beliefnet's Web site and newsletters. From November 3 through November 6 4,400 users completed the survey.

PRAYER - PERCEPTIONS OF CANDIDATE RELIGIOUSITY - OBAMA AND ISLAM - THE BIBLE - UNCHRISTIAN CAMPAIGNS? - THE MOST RELIGIOUS VOTERS: REDUCING ABORTION - THE MOST RELIGIOUS VOTERS: GAY MARRIAGE - THE MOST RELIGIOUS VOTERS: BORN AGAIN? - EVANGELICALS: CHURCH ATTENDANCE - EVANGELICALS: ABORTION - EVANGELICALS: REDUCING ABORTION - PRO-LIFE VOTERS - TOP ISSUES

PRAYER
More McCain supporters pray, but most Obama supporters pray, too. And the most religious McCain and Obama supporters pray in strikingly similar numbers.

 

PERCEPTIONS OF CANDIDATE RELIGIOUSITY 
Each side sees the candidate they supported as much more religious than the candidate they opposed.

 

OBAMA AND ISLAM
Though Obama doggedly denied the false rumors on the campaign trail, more than half of McCain voters believe that Obama is or was Muslim.

 

Continued on page 2: Different Views of the Bible »

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Ending his address, Sen. Barack Obama explains how he reacted to a voter's concerns about his fair-mindedness--and what he prayed for afterward.

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Ending his address, Sen. Barack Obama explains how he reacted to a voter's concerns about his fair-mindedness--and what he prayed for afterward.

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