"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


one word: abortion

More on Obama's efforts to get evangelical voters on his side is here. My take is that he'll probably pull in about 40-45% of young evangelicals, especially first-time voters, but that among the over-40 crowd, he'll mostly just get those that John Kerry got. Unless McCain can mount a vigorous campaign centered around judicial appointments, I think most right-wing evanglical voters are going to stay home this year, and those that don't will eventually back McCain.

At the end of the day, most evangelical voters are single-issue abortion voters. I think that's a very unwise way to vote (and am pondering a post that will explain why for a bit later this summer), but it's reality. And little about Obama's position on that issue will be pleasing to social conservatives.

In other religion news, the American Family Association got itself into quite a little situation with its auto-replacer yesterday. (HT to David)


Blogger Michael said...

1) I don't think he'll get 40 - 45% of young evangelicals. I just don't see it. One thing we know about the young, is they don't vote. Even though Obama fires them up now, will he be able to get 40% of evangelicals mobilized AND on his side? Sounds like a tall task to me.

2) I don't think the evangelical voters will stay home either. Because a lot of them are one-issue voters, they see every election as a chance to make a difference. Regardless of McCain's moderate views on abortion, I think many of those abortion-issue voters will still vote for him in hopes that regardless of his views, he will appoint a conservative SCOTUS judge. Also, I have heard repeatedly from many different people in many different circles that "Obama is the anti-Christ." Obviously, that is gibberish, but I think there is a real fear out there about his beliefs, especially among those that consider themselves conservative evangelicals.

3) I agree with you on one-issue voters. They drive me nuts. However, I think many from the Left will be one issue voters as well (the war).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 1:43:00 PM

Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

So does life not matter? What do either candidate display that shows serious faith in Christ? I think faith is a non-issue this election.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 1:57:00 PM

Anonymous attorney said...

I think everybody should just take a deep breath, kick back, and put on a Marvin Homosexual record.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 4:35:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Kevin, I'm working on a post to explain why I don't think that abortion should be the only issue Christians vote on. That doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 4:39:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

I don't know, Michael, I really think the R's are going to have a problem getting their base to turn out this time around. If Dobson et al won't even endorse McCain (and if people like him even go so far as to say they're staying home), I don't see how the turnout will be good for the social conservatives.

Great point about single issue voters on the left.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 7:51:00 PM

Blogger CharlieMac said...

I agree with you on one issue voters. They should be re-educated or lose voting rights.
Sample exit poll test:
I voted for the candidate because _____?
select one:
1. The person was female.
2. The person was of a particular race.
3. The person was a veteran of the military.
4. The person's stand on abortion.
5. None of the above

Only voters who choose #5 for their answer should be allowed to vote in the next election. Failing the test twice in two years should disqualify a person from voting for life.

No politician I have ever known or heard of is perfect and I have been voting since 1955 when I turned 21. (18 is too young to vote, but that is another tirade)
Voters should choose the best over all candidate.

Evangelicals need to come to the realization that many other people also oppose abortion and join forces to change the law. Voting for pro life candidates has not worked thus far. Continuing to vote the same way and expecting a different outcome is crazy!
Charlie Mac

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 8:10:00 PM

Blogger Michael said...

I do agree with you that much of the Republican base may not turn out for them. I am a disillusioned conservative myself who isn't sold on McCain. However, I don't see evangelical conservatives as the Republican base. I have no doubt that most of them vote Republican. I just see the base as the people who are ideologically in-line with traditional conservatism in totality. Social conservatives seem more worried about gay marriage and abortion than they are with the actual success of conservatism. That is why I think evangelicals will still turn out. It is us ideologues that won't turn out.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 10:27:00 PM

Blogger MamasBoy said...

"Only voters who choose #5 for their answer should be allowed to vote in the next election. Failing the test twice in two years should disqualify a person from voting for life."

Score another point for the first amendment and voter's rights! Talk about an idiotic imposition of one's personal political preferences. One should probably note, too, that the exit poll question above is relatively ambiguous and practically useless when it comes to isolating single issue voters.

Personally, I'm glad the US is a free country, even when people don't vote the way I want them to.

"Voting for pro life candidates has not worked thus far."

This person who said this is obviously not informed about/active in pro-life social action, or they wouldn't make such a statement.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008 1:01:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Mac, I'm with you in wishing that voters were more informed. MB, I see your point, but I also think that life questions are a lot bigger than just abortion.

Mac, shouldn't 18 year olds who defend their country be allowed to vote for the politicians who send them to war? :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 7:58:00 AM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

By evangelicals, you mean white evangelicals. African-American evangelicals are overwhelmingly Democratic and Latino evangelicals are about 70% Democratic.

But Bill Clinton got 40% of the white evangelical vote in 1996, when the Religious Right was far more influential than now and the GOP brand name was not so tarnished. Those 40% were not one-issue voters. So, I don't see why Obama can't get 40% of white evangelicals, not just the young white evangelicals. Kerry got a dismal 28%, but that was due to his campaign's studied decision to write this vote off.

Now, I'm critical of Obama's Faith-Based Initiative strategy. I think that's pandering and may, depending on how it is implemented, violate the First Amendment. There are ways to court this vote without pandering and Obama can do it.

There are fewer Christians calling themselves evangelical than in the last 30 years. Whereas about 45% of all Americans called themselves evangelicals in 1996, that is down to between 30 and 35%, now. So, Obama doesn't need to win this group to win the White House. He just needs to do better than Kerry--and he already is.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 8:58:00 AM

Blogger MamasBoy said...

"MB, I see your point, but I also think that life questions are a lot bigger than just abortion."

I didn't think I suggested that all life questions could be reduced to abortion, but feel free to point out where I did. I thought that I made the point that if some people want to be single issue voters, it is their constitutional right. Whether I agree or not with their voting methodology is irrelevant and suggestions to the otherwise are tyrannical.

Also, in my experience, *most* people who complain about single issue voters regarding abortion aren't doing a darn thing to end it, and *most* of those that both ostensibly oppose abortion and rail against single issue voters are terribly uninformed on the issue. For these reasons, most people of this stripe have zero credibility in my mind on the abortion issue. You may be/probably are an exception to that, but you would be a rare one.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008 11:28:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Okay, I see what you're saying. Of course people have the right to vote however they choose. But I do think single-issue voting is irresponsible. One of these days I'll get around to posting on my reasons why.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 1:37:00 PM

Blogger CharlieMac said...

The reason 18 year olds often make the best warriors is exactly the same reason they are not mature enough to vote. IMHO

I was a 18 year old once and remember how easily I was led in my thinking. Maybe today's youth are more mature. Judging from the loud thump thump coming from the boys car sound systems and their skivvies showing above their too large pants I doubt it.

I do not think I need to say much about the way 18-19 year old females show way too much skin. I would prefer not to know they are wearing thongs or have tatto designs just above their backsides.

Lord, am I so old that I am repulsed by too much skin? Maybe 73yo's should not be allowed to vote either. BWG
Charlie Mac

Thursday, July 03, 2008 6:34:00 AM


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