If a mix of religious and other concerns has created a variety of views among evangelical Republicans, it has moved some away from that party altogether. In the 2006 midterms 41% of white evangelicals were “happy” with Democratic wins.[16] In the 2008 presidential election, a third of white evangelicals under 40 voted for Obama; 26% of older white evangelicals did, 36% of the less observant.[17] Evangelical PACs like the Matthew 25 Network formed to support Obama. Two evangelical ministers, Tony Campolo and Joel Hunter, helped write the 2008 Democratic party platform. A third, Leah Daughtry, was CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee.

Thus far, variety in evangelical voting has tended to cause a stir--though that variety is longstanding in evangelical history and theology, with the emphasis on the individual conscience and the politics-Gospel distinction. If candidates continue to think that evangelicals vote one way on only one set of religious reasons, they will miss all the others, potentially missing 80 million votes.

*

Marcia Pally teaches at NYU and Fordham University. Her most recent book is The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good (2011, Eerdmans).



 



[1] In Virginia, evangelicals voted more strongly for Romney (62%) than did the general population (57%).

[2] http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765561534/Romney-grows-edge-among-high-income-voters-in-Ill.html

[3] Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota

[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/us/politics/romney-a-victor-in-illinois.html

[5] http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/exit-polls-show-romneys-strong-showing-among-college-grads-high-income-voters-drove-win/2012/03/20/gIQAmgMUQS_story.html

[6] Boyd, G. (2009, April 8). Don’t Weep for the Demise of American Christianity. Christus Victor

Ministries (blog).

[7] Hunter, J. (2008). A new kind of conservative. Ventura, CA: Gospel Light Publishing. p.31.

[8] Gushee, D. (2008). The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical

Center. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, pp. 49, 51; see also, A New Evangelical Manifesto: A Kingdom Vision for the Common Good on the disservice done to the Kingdom when it is conflated with a political wrangling.

[9] Kirkpatrick, D. (2007, Oct., 28). The Evangelical Crackup. The New York Times magazine.

[10] Balmer, R. (2006) Thy Kingdom Come: How the religious right distorts the faith and threatens America — an Evangelical’s lament. New York: Basic Books, p. 189.

[11] National Association of Evangelicals. (2007). An Evangelical Declaration against torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror. http://www.esa-online.org/

Images/mmDocument/Declarations%20&%20Letters/An%20Evangelical%20Declaration%20Against%20Torture.pdf

[12] Tomma, S. (2007, Sept. 30). Influence of Christian right in the GOP wanes. McClatchy Washington Bureau. http://www.sacbee.com/111/v-print/story/406777.html

[13] http://www.anevangelicalmanifesto.com/docs/Evangelical_Manifesto.pdf

[14] http://www.nae.net/budgetcircle

[15] https://app7.vocusgr.com/WebPublish/Controller.aspx?SiteName=NAE&Definition=ViewIssue&IssueID=1446

[16] http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Religion-and-the-2006-Elections.aspx

[17] http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Much-Hope-Modest-Change-for-Democrats-Religion-in-the-2008-Presidential-Election.aspx