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God-O-Meter

obama12.jpgHere’s something you don’t see everyday: an analysis of which kinds of religious voters supported which candidates. Democratic candidates. Here’s religion and politics scholar John Green, of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, courtesty of Christianity Today’s Liveblog:

Sen. Obama has clearly done very well among black Protestants, and that’s changed the equation. If you go back to the polls last year that showed Sen. Clinton way ahead, one of the reason was she was winning the black vote by a large margin and that doesn’t seem to be happening. White Catholics are really important to the extent that Clinton can hang on to them. One of the tasks for the Obama campaign is to find a way to reach into Catholic community. There’s quite a struggle over white Protestants. It appears that Clinton has an edge there as well, so a challenge for Sen. Obama. I see a pretty fierce struggle going forward and religious groups will be part of the mix.

This analysis raises another point: The National Election Pool is still refusing to ask Democrats if they’re evangelical or not, even as they ask Republican voters the same question in every single Republican primary, and even after a handful of liberal groups–including the Democratic National Committee–has complained about it. This from the lefty Washington group Faith in Public Life:

Here we go again. Last night, the exit polls in every single state failed to ask Democratic primary voters if they were born-again or evangelical Christians. There’s lots of news analysis this morning about how evangelicals voted in the Republican primaries and none about Democrats — because no one has the data. This imbalance continues to reinforce the false and outdated presumption that evangelicals only vote for candidates from one party.
The National Election Pool’s only response to this (now widespread) complaint is that there is “limited real estate” on the questionnaires. Others have claimed that asking Democratic primary voters would not yield valuable or interesting data. Polling information to which we do have access casts doubt on this claim….
One positive sign: Unlike in several previous primary states, on Super Tuesday the exit pollsters asked both Republican Democratic primary participants in every state their religious affiliation (Protestant/Catholic/Mormon/Jewish/Muslim/etc) and how frequently they attended religious services. That’s progress. We hope for more.

Let God-o-Meter get this straight. The National Election Pool has begun asking about Democratic voters’ religious affiliation but still refuses to ask the evangelcial question? Does that smell fishy to anyone else? Could the NEP just be acting out of spite?


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