hillary7.jpgA couple weeks ago, God-o-Meter reported that the progressive group Faith in Public Life, incensed that primary state exit polls failed to ask Democratic voters whether or not they’re evangelicals (as those polls do for Republicans) took it upon itself to commission its own polls for the Tennessee and Missouri primaries. The results suggested that more evangelicals were pulling the Democratic lever than had four years ago and that evangelicals, as many news reports suggest, really are broadening their political agenda beyond hot-button issues. They also showed Hillary Clinton with a decisive lead over Barack Obama among white evangelicals.
Less than a week later, God-o-Meter reported that the Rothenberg Political Report’s Nathan Gonzales was casting doubt on Faith and Public Life’s methodology for and conclusions about the polls.
But Faith in Public Life is actively standing by its work. Here’s the upshot: FPL concedes that there’s yet to be solid evidence for an up tick in evangelical support for Democratic candidates over four years ago. But it’s not backing down from the evidence for an evangelical branching out on the issues. For God-o-Meter, the bottom line is that one of the big questions looming over this election, Will more evangelicals move into the Democratic column?, is still unresolved. If Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, who’ve made reaching evangelical voters a high priority, can’t achieve a modest shift in that direction against John McCain, whose evangelical troubles are well documented, then Democrats should probably stop trying. God-o-Meter waits with bated breath.


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