Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Huh? Young Evangelicals Cooler on Democrats Than Their Elders

This is amazing. Two new surveys show that younger evangelicals are cooler to Democrats than older evangelicals. This runs directly contrary to the Obama campaigns message that he would rack up evangelical votes amongst the youngins.
According to the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc. poll released a couple of weeks ago, 36% of white evangelicals over age 30 rated Obama favorably — while only 28% of those under 30 did so.
A survey released Wednesday from Faith and Public Life said younger evangelicals liked Obama himself slightly more than older (over 35 years old), 29%-25%. But stunningly, the younger evangelicals were more likely to identify themselves as Republicans. 28% of the over 35 group identify themselves as Democrats while 19% of the younger evangelicals do.. 70% called themselves Republican, 5 pionts higher than for the older group!
Ideologically, they do describe themselves as more moderate than the older evangelicals — except on one issue, abortion, where they share the same views. Is that why the younger voters, despite their ideological moderation, haven’t signed on with the Democrats or Obama yet? What else could it be?
So much for the huge wave of young Obamagelicals.
On other interesting giblet: young evangelical women are considerably cooler on Sarah Palin than their elders. 65% of those over 30 liked her, while 46 under 30 did.

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Steven Ertelt

posted October 8, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Young evangelical voters are more likely to be Republicans and are cool to Obama because they are very strongly pro-life.
In June 2007, the New York Times, CBS News and MTV teamed up for the survey of 659 Americans between the ages of 17 and 29.
It found teenagers and young adults are more likely than older adults to say that they don’t think abortion should be legal or that it should be subject to stricter limits than it is now.
A total of 62 percent of young Americans say abortion should not be permitted (24 percent) or more strictly limited (38 percent). That’s higher than the 58 percent of older adults who give the same answers (split 21 and 37 percent respectively).
See for more.

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posted October 9, 2008 at 7:00 pm

“A total of 62 percent of young Americans say abortion should not be permitted (24 percent) or more strictly limited (38 percent). That’s higher than the 58 percent of older adults who give the same answers (split 21 and 37 percent respectively).”
Got a better source for that than an obviously biased website?
Every single study I’ve ever seen has claimed that between 60-70% of Americans are pro-choice.

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posted October 14, 2008 at 12:12 am

Younger adults tend to be extremely idealistic and supremely dedicated to whatever cause they embrace. In my mid-twenties, I was conservative to a fanatical degree. Now that I’ve lived a bit more life, I’ve become quite liberal.
The relaxing of rigid youthful idealism may not always express itself with these types of ideological changes. How many parents of multiple kids can admit they were MUCH stricter with the oldest than with the younger ones? I’ve heard that many times.
You go into life full of zeal and certain of your cause, and over time you realize that all too often, you were fighting the wrong battles at the wrong times in the wrong ways for the wrong reasons. And you humble yourself, and you learn to practice a nuanced moderation. Which sounds just dreadful to young idealists…
But we’re all just doing the best we can, and I’m just glad the young voters are voting, whether they like my favorite candidate or not.

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