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God-O-Meter

God-O-Meter

July 2008 Archives

McCain, Romney and the Evangelical Threat, Revisted

posted by dgilgoff

Two pieces today combat this week’s Washington Times piece about the threat of Mitt Romney giving evangelicals more agita should John McCain draft him as a running mate. The first, a Politico story headlined “Romney could lift McCain in West” […]

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Video: Tim Kaine on Faith as the Driver of his Politics

posted by dgilgoff

The Charlie Rose Show just posted video of its interview yesterday with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who’s on Obama’s very short list of possible running mates. Watch it, particularly from the 15 to 30-minute marks, and you’ll see that a […]

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New Quinnipiac Poll: Obama’s Catholic Problem Persists

posted by dgilgoff

A Quinnipiac poll out today shows that the presidential race is surprisingly tight in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, given the unpopularity of President and lingering anti-Republican sentiment. One of Obama’s biggest vulnerabilities: white Catholics. These are many of the same […]

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Obama’s Faith Team Coordinates with Hill Dems

posted by dgilgoff

David Brody has the scoop: The Brody File has learned that the Obama campaign met with over 30 House members and senior staff this morning to strategize on Obama’s faith outreach strategy this fall. A meeting participant tells The Brody […]

Would Romney as Veep Further Alienate Evangelicals?

posted by dgilgoff

Evangelicals were famously divided ruing this year’s Republican primaries–the New York Times dubbed it an “evangelical crackup–but the most viscous divisions were between those supporting Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Huck’s evangelical forces saw Romney as the ultimately opportunist, converting […]

Does Obama Risk Catholic Backlash With a Catholic VP?

posted by dgilgoff

That’s what the influential conservative Catholic group Fidelis says in a press release it put out, responding to news today that Obama’s short list for running mates is mostly Catholic. Here’s Fidelis’s reasoning (read the full press release): Catholic voters […]

Revisiting John Hagee’s Vow Not to Endorse Again

posted by dgilgoff

The American Prospect’s Tapped blogger Sarah Posner takes God-o-Meter to task for a recent post analyzing John Hagee’s vow never to endorse another presidential candidate–and the enthusiastic applause the lined garnered from a packed auditorium of evangelicals. GOM said this […]

Ted Stevens Indictment: Another Turn Off for Values Voters

posted by dgilgoff

The Democrats succeeding in closing the gap among what Democratic National Committee pollster Cornell Belcher calls “values-first voters” from 30 points in 2004 to around 10 points in 2006. It was a major factor behind the Democrats’ congressional takeover. True, […]

Obama’s VP Short List: Religion on the Brain

posted by dgilgoff

From today’s Washington Post: Kaine and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are the only state leaders believed to be under serious consideration, sources close to Obama said. As in Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. As in serious consideration to be Obama’s Number […]

Is the News Media Fabricating Obama’s Evangelical Gains?

posted by dgilgoff

Newsmax says so, channeling National Review’s Mark Hemingway from last week. Hemingway makes a pretty convincing case. It’s deep in the ’08 cycle. Obama’s been trying like mad to reach white evangelicals and other religious constituencies for a year and […]

Faith-Based Initiatives’ Democratic Forbears?

posted by dgilgoff

In her column for USA Today’s Monday religion slot, TIME mag editor/Democratic faith expert Amy Sullivan reveals the surprising history behind George W. Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. In arguing for the expansion of the program, Barack Obama […]

Some Think Obama Needs to Stress Faith Over Works

posted by dgilgoff

Religion Writer blogger Andrea Useem has posted this curious photo of a Baptist church marquee in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of the Falwell dynasty. Apparently, some evangelicals are irked at the perception that Obama is emphasizing works at the expense of […]

Israelis Prefer Obama

posted by dgilgoff

Much ink has been spilled and airtime filled by Barack Obama’s supposed Jewish problem. But Mark Silk at Spiritual Politics points God-o-Meter to a new poll showing Obama ahead of John McCain among Israelis. He’s tied among conservative Likud Party […]

In Politics, God is Never Private

posted by dgilgoff

To quote Jim Wallis, God is Personal, but never private. That’s especially true in politics. AP has the story of the Israeli paper that published Barack Obama’s handscrawled note to God in the Western Wall.

Obamicas. McCippahs.

posted by dgilgoff

They’re finally here, just in time for Barack Obama’s trip to Jerusalem.

Hagee on Presidential Endorsements: Never Again

posted by dgilgoff

At the annual A Night to Honor Israel banquet in Washington on Tuesday night, here’s what spurned televangelist John Hagee told the assembled: What will I say when I’m asked to endorse another presidential candidate? Never Again! According to the […]

In Rare Move, McCain Meets Religious Leader: the Dalai Lama

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain rarely schedules meetings with high profile religious leaders, in stark contrast to George W. Bush–and Barack Obama. But after whacking Obama this afternoon for campaigning among foreigners in Berlin, McCain is trumpeting his one-on-one meeting tomorrow with a […]

Religious Left is Growing Up Faster than Religious Right Did

posted by dgilgoff

The Matthew 25 Network, a new faith-based political action committee started by John Kerry’s 2004 faith outreach director, is preparing to launch its second pro-Barack Obama radio ad this week, the group’s founder and director said on a conference call […]

Had McCain Been Wooing Dobson?

posted by dgilgoff

James Dobson’s 180-degree turnabout on John McCain has God-o-Meter thinking: has the candidate who’s famously inept on religious outreach seen the light and picked up the phone to call Colorado Springs? Dobson went a lot further than he needed to […]

Obama Hires Muslim Liaison

posted by dgilgoff

Politico says the position has been created but not filled. It also reports the hiring as completely routine for presidential nominees: The creation of the position comes as Obama builds out a more traditional, constituency-based campaign structure than he had […]

Obama’s American Values Report, Take 2

posted by dgilgoff

Earlier this month, God-o-Meter reported on the Obama team’s launch of the American Values Report, a weekly newsletter. The 8-page second issue was published on Friday. The report It includes “Spotlight on People of Faith” interviews with a Reform Jew […]

McCain’s Evangelical Moment?

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain and Barack Obama have accepted invitations to sit down with Purpose-Driven Life author Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church for public (and open-media) interviews just before next month’s big nominating conventions. David Brody sees the forum as presenting […]

Dobson Might Endorse McCain

posted by dgilgoff

The AP reports: Conservative Christian leader James Dobson has softened his stance against Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying he could reverse his position and endorse the Arizona senator despite serious misgivings. “I never thought I would hear myself saying […]

Bush’s Stand on Gay Adoption? Take a Wild Guess

posted by dgilgoff

The question of gay adoption has been a back-burner for the Christian Right. Until now, of course. Brody has Family Research Council president Tony Perkins pillorying McCain for his campaign’s recent dialing back of his opposition to gay adoption, which […]

McCain’s Evangelical Problem: It’s All About Turnout

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics’ Mark Silk weighs in on the exchange between God-o-Meter and John Schmalzbauer on whether the Democrats ought to throw in the towel if Obama can’t make some evangelical inroads this fall: As with any dependable voting bloc, the […]

Will McCain Camp Dump Catholic Advisor Under Pressure?

posted by dgilgoff

Catholics United’s call for Catholic author/Republican operative Deal Hudson (pictured) to resign from his advisory role aboard John McCain’s campaign is generating some major news coverage. Catholics United is calling for Hudson’s resignation over allegations that he sexually harassed a […]

If McCain’s Vouchers Violate Church/State Separation, What About Obama’s Faith-Based Initatives?

posted by dgilgoff

The liberal People for the American Way just sent out a statement attacking the school voucher plan that John McCain discussed in his speech today before the NAACP. Here’s People For President Kathryn Kolbert: “John McCain is trying to score […]

Obama and Evangelicals: A Modest Mission

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday, Missouri State University religion professor/Immanent Frame blogger John Schmalzbauer (politely) accused God-o-Meter of underestimating Democrats’ potential to win over some evangelicals in November. He could be right. It’s just that when GOM sees polls reporting 60-percent evangelical support for […]

McCain’s Latest Christian Right Stumble

posted by dgilgoff

In his interview with The New York Times over the weekend, John McCain took an unequivocal stand against gay adoption, a rare instance of him standing shoulder to shoulder with the Christian Right on a hot button social issue. But […]

If Obama Can’t Make Evangelical Gains, Should Dems Give Up?

posted by dgilgoff

In response to God-o-Meter’s earlier post about debunking the myth that the evangelical voting bloc is a myth (like the Catholic voting bloc, say) Missouri State University religion professor/Immanent Frame blogger John Schmalzbauer–whose post GOM was responding to–commented that evangelical […]

New Yorker Cover: Where’s the Outrage on Muslim Portrayal?

posted by dgilgoff

Despite all the denunciations of this week’s New Yorker cover for the damage it might do to Barack Obama’s, there’s been relatively little outcry over its portrayal of Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement: “Unfortunately, the New […]

The Myth of the Myth of the Evangelical Vote

posted by dgilgoff

The Immanent Frame, the Social Science Research Council’s blog on religion, secularism, and the public square, has a post up claiming that the current war of words between Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and supporters of Barack Obama may […]

McCain’s Uncomfortable Times Interview

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday’s New York Times interview with John McCain covered lots of ground of interest to religious conservatives: his church affiliation, gay adoption, same-sex marriage, and evolution in public schools. And from where the Christian Right sits, he answered correctly on […]

Interns Arrive, Obama’s Faith Blog Takes Off

posted by dgilgoff

For a while there, God-o-Meter noticed that for all Barack Obama’s supposed prowess in religious outreach and online organizing, his campaign’s faith blog was pretty much dead. There’s been just a handful of postings per month since January. But as […]

Obama Launches ‘American Values Report’

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign has begun issuing a weekly ‘American Values Report,’ with the first edition out last Friday. The report is sent as a PDF file via email, so God-o-Meter can’t post the whole thing here. But it has chosen […]

McCain’s New Ad: God’s Children

posted by dgilgoff

No, the ad’s not about “values” issues. It’s about immigration. In it, John McCain calls all immigrants–legal and illegal–“God’s children.” Is this Sam Brownback’s hand at work? Brownback has for years talked about every person–including the unborn–as being a “sacred, […]

10,000 Catholics for Obama

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign is emailing around this video, produced by a new group called 10,000 Catholics for Obama:David Brody has the back story.

Why’s Rove Silent on Evangelicals?

posted by dgilgoff

Analyzing what he calls “Obama’s Brilliant Ground Game” in today’s Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove draws plenty of parallels between the Illinois senator’s burgeoning organization and George W. Bush’s in 2000 and 2004. In revealing some trade secrets from those […]

Joe Lieberman Headlines Event with John Hagee

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics notes that Joe Lieberman is headlining John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel annual Washington banquet next week. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Sallai Meridor, is also listed as a keynote speaker. So is Hagee himself. Another moment to […]

Evangelicals Rally To McCain While Trying To Prevent Another Like Him

posted by dgilgoff

Last week’s decision by nearly 100 conservative Christian activists meeting in Denver to coalesce around presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain was a major coup for a candidate whose relationship with the Christian Right has been famously stormy. But the […]

Gallup: God Gap Still Wide. GOP Still Benefits.

posted by dgilgoff

Another day, another reminder that the God gap in the electorate heavily favors John McCain, even as Barack Obama screams his faith from the rooftops and McCain wears his close to his vest. A new Gallup poll analysis shows that […]

Will McCain Benefit From Marriage Amendments?

posted by dgilgoff

This morning at 10 Eastern, the Family Research Council plans to unveil the results of a poll that suggests that candidates’ support for state-based constitutional amendments banning gay marriage is a major benefit at the polls. Politico’s Mike Allen has […]

McCain Whacks Obama on Social Issues

posted by dgilgoff

Among the Christian RIght’s chief criticisms of John McCain has been his reluctance to point out differences between himself and Barack Obama on hot button social issues like abortion and gay marriage. A new McCain campaign briefing shows the Arizona […]

McCain Ups Religious Outreach. Evangelicals Up Criticism.

posted by dgilgoff

The Dallas Morning News has the best update in weeks on the McCain camp’s stepped-up religious outreach effort, its scaled-back vision for the role of evangelicals in 2008 as compared to ’04, and the continuing evangelical critique of the whole […]

Obama’s Left Flank

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama’s made a couple of serious plays for evangelical/culturally conservative support in the last week–unveiling his plans to expand George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initatiatves and asserting that mental distress should not be legal grounds for […]

ISO Obama’s Abortion Stance

posted by dgilgoff

A short interview Barack Obama gave last week to the evangelical Relevant magazine has been making a lot of headlines, specifically over what he said about supporting abortion restrictions: “I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for […]

The Pro-Life Anti-Obama Campaign

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File reports on the Christian Defense Coalition’s new “Abortion President” campaign against Barack Obama. This is not a group with lots of organizational heft–it’s known mostly for hosting press conferences–but if Brody’s right, it’s the first step in […]

‘Social Conservatives Warming to McCain’

posted by dgilgoff

Or so says a headline in yesterday’s Washington Times. The evidence? Last week’s powwow of Christian Right activists in Denver. For a more nuanced–and skeptical–take on that meeting’s benefit to McCain, see God-o-Meter.

Family Research Council’s Got McCain’s Back?

posted by dgilgoff

This morning’s Washington Post front pager on John McCain offers a chorus of conservative voices vowing war over changes they expect the presumptive Republican nominee to attempt to engineer in the GOP platform. The one conservative urging calm? The Family […]

Obama Melds Social Gospel, Personal Salvation Theology

posted by dgilgoff

The rivalry between the Social Gospel–the belief that people should work to perfect society in accordance with certain Biblical ideals, such as equality and justice–and the theology of personal salvation–which posits that people are deeply imperfect and in need of […]

The Denver Conclave: How Much of a Turning Point for McCain?

posted by dgilgoff

Writing on Tuesday’s Denver meeting among Christian Right activists, at which said activists vowed to put aside their differences with John McCain and back him in November, David Brody called it a “key turning point” for the Arizona senator. God-o-Meter, […]

Poll: Catholics Split Between McCain, Obama

posted by dgilgoff

A new TIME poll has Catholics splitting between McCain and Obama, with McCain’s 45-44 edge within the margin of error. Another reminder that, for all Barack Obama’s religious outreach prowess and for all John McCain’s religious stumbles, the traditional God […]

In Denver, Christian Right Activists Coalesce Around McCain

posted by dgilgoff

Following up on a TIME account yesterday, CBN’s David Brody has more deets on Tuesday’s Denver meeting among scores of Christian Right activists and their decision to coalesce behind John McCain despite their considerable doubts about him. Channeling meeting attendee/evangelical […]

Catholic League: ‘Obama’s Faith-Based Gambit a Fraud’

posted by dgilgoff

Echoing Family Research Council Action, the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights says Obama’s plan for faith-based initiatives would do more harm than good by prohibiting religious groups from discriminating on the basis of religion and requiring those groups […]

Pro-Obama Ads on Christian Radio

posted by dgilgoff

A new pro-Obama faith-based group called the Matthew 25 Network, started by John Kerry’s 2004 faith outreach director, has launched a Christian Radio ad on the heels of Obama’s faith-based initiatives speech: The ad is running first in Colorado Springs, […]

Obama in Touch with Focus on the Family

posted by dgilgoff

With Barack Obama in Colorado Springs, CO for a speech today, God-o-Meter checked in with Focus on the Family, the granddaddy of evangelical megagroups in the Springs, to see if Obama had any plans to stop by while he was […]

Family Research Council Pooh-Poohs Obama Faith-Based Initiative

posted by dgilgoff

One might have thought that Barack Obama’s plan to expand George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives would be music to the ears of Family Research Council Action, the main inside-the-beltway Christian Right advocacy outfit. Carving out a […]

Obama in Colorado Springs Today

posted by dgilgoff

A day after announcing his plan to beef up President Bush’s office of faith-based initiatives, Barack Obama pops up today in Colorado Springs, whose reputation as the country’s evangelical capital has earned it the nickname “Vatican West.” The Obama camp […]

Why Obama’s Faith-Based Initiatives Matter

posted by dgilgoff

As Barack Obama has emphasized his life as a “committed Christian” over the past year and a half, skeptics have asked for evidence of how his faith would actually influence his policies as president. Some conservative Christian activists have urged […]

Obama to Unveil Faith-Based Initiatives Plan

posted by dgilgoff

After touring Zanesville, Ohio’s Eastside Community Ministry, which his campaign describes as a “food bank, a clothing closet and a children’s program for low-income” people–Barack Obama will announce plans his plan for a President’s Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, […]

Previous Posts

Closed for the Season
With Election Day finally having come and gone, God-o-Meter is closing up shop till 2012--or at least 2010. Till then, get your faith and politics fix over at Beliefnet editor-in-chief Steve Waldman's blog. 7 ...

posted 4:32:33pm Nov. 19, 2008 | read full post »

On The Religious Left, Great Expectations
The first priorities for Barack Obama's administration will be the economy and a variety of foreign policy issues. But the burgeoning religious left, which worked so hard to get Obama elected, expects some movement on its issues, including a ...

posted 1:49:31pm Nov. 07, 2008 | read full post »

Howard Dean's Vindication
God-o-Meter wrote a piece for today's Roll Call on the vindication of Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's much-derided 50-State Strategy, which is largely about reaching out to the nation's more religious voters in the red ...

posted 2:01:06pm Nov. 06, 2008 | read full post »

A Post-Election Chat with Ralph Reed
Amid today's talk that Barack Obama has narrowed the God Gap, God-o-Meter checked in with Ralph Reed, who spearheaded religious outreach for George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns and who pioneered such outreach for Republicans as executive ...

posted 3:09:07pm Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »

More Innacurate Faith Storylines From the Media
God-o-Meter is struck by the number of faith-based storylines the news media appear to have gotten dead wrong this year. One was the line that Obama was poised to make big gains among white votes, especially evangelicals, who were undergoing a ...

posted 11:53:20am Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »

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