“Leveling the Praying Field” Time Magazines July 23rd Coverstory
Don’t get it twisted, there is a growing recognition that the 2008 election is going to be a values debate. The cover story for next weeks’s Time is “Leveling the Praying Field” focuses on how democrats are courting progressive evangelicals. Dems are increasingly turning their back on Kerry’s failed strategy of being ignoring and otherwise being silent on values issues. Evangelicals are increasingly trending more independent and democrat. The authors, Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy point out:
The best handicapper of the religious vote is political scientist John C. Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, who has studied the voting habits of the country’s 55 million Evangelicals. The most conservative white Protestants, he says, are all but off-limits to the Democrats. But then there are more than 22 million voters he calls “freestyle Evangelicals,” worried about not only their eternal souls but also their kids’ schools, their car’s fuel efficiency and the crisis in Darfur. In the past, those voters may have leaned Republican in part because the GOP has been far smarter about presenting itself as friendly to people of faith while painting the Democrats as a bunch of sneering, secular coastal élites.
But the Republican lock on Evangelicals may be breaking. The percentage of white Evangelicals who self-identify as Republicans has declined from roughly 50% in 2004 to about 44% this past February, according to Green. Now the number is closer to 40% as more Evangelicals choose to label themselves independents. “There is a loosening of the Republican coalition, particularly among people under 30,” Green says, “but it is not yet a movement toward the Democrats. It is a small but real change.”
What do you think of this trend? What do you think of the article? If a politician has a faith foundation, how should they frame their faith? Which candidate is doing the best job of framing their faith? Which Democratic candidate most authentically deals with faith issues? Which Republican candidate?
Religion and Politics 2008 @ the Pew Forum
“How the Democrats Got Religion” Time Coverstory
Video Highlights of the Democratic Faith Forum Debate
Video of the Faith Forum
Transcript of the Forum at CNN
Georgetown Professor Jacques Berlinerblau wrote “God Vote” for the Washignton Post
Pew Forum Update: Potential Support for Presidential Candidates Among Religious Groups