Is it just coincidence that John McCain waits till his presidential bid is ailing and till he’s in evangelical-rich and electorally important South Carolina to correct the long-held impression that he’s Episcopal by insisting that he’s Baptist? God-o-Meter says: unlikely. Though McCain has been identified as an Episcopalian for years in the press—he grew up Episcopalian and attended an Episcopal high school, according to the Associated Press—he corrected an AP reporter who asked how his Episcopal faith affects his life and campaign. “It plays a role in my life,” he said. “By the way, I’m not Episcopalian. I’m Baptist.” He noted that he and his family have belonged to a Baptist church in Arizona, his home state, for 15-plus years. God-o-Meter ran the numbers and concluded that, with Baptists representing the country’s second largest religious tradition—and the largest evangelical one—and Episcopalians accounting for less than 2-percent of the population, there are good reasons for McCain to broadcast his Baptist bona fides. Plus, the AP notes that South Carolina is predominantly Baptist. With Romney and Thompson making hard plays for evangelical support, this could be McCain’s way of telling them “I’m one of you.” Now let’s see if he take it further by pointing out that he’s got a stronger pro-life record than any of the frontrunners.


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