November 11, 2008

Conservative Evangelicals voted MORE for McCain

Suggests that the religious right will be stronger, not weaker in the future Republican party:
"Born again Christians or evangelicals made up 36% of Bush vote and, by my count, 38.% of the McCain vote.

Some of that results from non-evangelicals - Catholics in particular -- abandoning the Republicans while evangelicals mostly stayed put. But the Republican ticket actually drew two million more evangelicals in raw numbers than George Bush did, presumably because of excitement about Sarah Palin and extreme fear of Barack Obama."
And if the Religious Right is close to 40% of the party, and a vocal and consistent block, doesn't that make Palin their favorite?

She talks the talk, here discussing how she looks at future political opportunities:
I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is. Even if it's cracked up a little bit, maybe I'll plow right on through that and maybe prematurely plow through it, but don't let me miss an open door. And if there is an open door in (20)12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door.

I have no idea how God works in these situations, but watching Sarah Palin operate over these last few months makes me rather cynical about this statement. Can she tell the difference between what she thinks is God's voice and that ego and ambition inside? I am fine with her ambition, but when she confuses that ambition for God's will, it is not encouraging to the rest of us. So reminiscent of Bush, isn't she? No sense of introspection, no sense that perhaps she wasn't ready.



Tony said...

That has been exactly my issue with Sarah Palin. I grow so tired of religious conservatives finding a biblical referent to compare her to--first it was Queen Esther; then it was Gideon; then it was David, because David was woefully unqualified to be king of Israel yet God empowered him to do so.

I doubt not that God used David--that is not the issue--nor the fact that God could do it again, if He wanted. The issue is using the Bible like a cookie cutter to make it support what you support.

If Sarah Palin looks like David then surely she must be the next David. But how in the world can you tell? Where do you draw the line between what is of God and what is of the flesh?

You don't, and you make the dangerous assumption that you are chosen by God "for such a time as this" and it matters not who you plow under in the process--because God told you so.

Cold In Laramie said...

Streak, How much of this has to do with race/isms? Obviously, not all evangelicals are in the South (yes, Oklahoma is in the South), but that appears to be a strong base and their home. How much of a role do you think race played in this increase?

Streak said...

Well said, Tony. Well said.

CIL, that is the 50 million dollar question, isn't it? I fear that race is still a very big part of it, but don't know how much. One of the positives about how we deal with race is that open displays of racism are shamed (in most circles) and so many people are very hesitant to even admit racial bias--perhaps even to themselves.

ubub said...

Perhaps they had no issue with Obama's race, but every bit of concern about the "fact" that he was a secret Muslim terrorist seeking to convert us all. His race just made it easier to portray him as Other/Foreign/Dangerous and other issues made it convenient to deny that race was a factor.

Tony said...

Just throwing this one out; if race was not an issue to conservative evangelicals, then why wasn't Alan Keyes the GOP nominee (lot of baggage there, I understand)? Or Bobby Jindal for VP? I mean he has it all--young, first non-white to serve as governor of LA (though not black) and avidly pro-life.

(I still think Palin's pick was a slap in Hillary's face, though that is water under the bridge.)

And ubub, in my neck of the woods, there are still those who are convinced Obama is a Muslim--and a terrorist.

Streak said...

I do think race is a factor here. I don't think there is any way around it.

ubub said...

Hey Tony, what color is that neck of the woods? I have a guess . . .

LB said...

The whole issue of race being a factor based on the number of evangelicals who voted for McCain is false.

This is because you are proceeding from a false methodology. You have assumed that because a higher percentage of evangelicals voted for McCain than did Bush that more total evangelicals voted for McCain.

Basing the math on the reported 36% evangelicals for Bush and 38% for McCain, McCain actually got 347,582 fewer evangelical votes than did Bush.

Thus the argument that more evangelicals voted for McCain out of racial motivation is simply not based on fact.

Streak said...

Steve Waldman had different numbers and suggested that the raw numbers of evangelicals voting for McCain was 2 million more than Bush.

Plus, even if your numbers are correct (and they may be, I don't know) then they don't tell us anything about the role that race played in this election, either way.

We are speculating about motivation here, but you will have to do more to completely dismiss the issue of race.

lb said...

I don't know where Waldman gets the number 2 million more from. I used his numbers of 36 and 38 percent as found on the link to his story off of your blog.

Looking at it again, i realized he has 38.5 percent for McCain, so recalculating, Bush still got 58,286 more evangelicals to vote for him.

In my first comment, I never argued race was not a factor. I simply pointed out that asserting that race was a factor based on Waldman's number was erroneous.

If race was a factor in the vote, no factual evidence has been presented.

It would be foolish to assume that no one voted out of racial motivations. However, it would be unfair to imply without facts that race was somehow a factor on a large scale among evangelicals.

Streak said...

We didn't assert that race was a factor based on those numbers. You inferred that.

Arguing that race is still a problem among evangelicals (especially Southern evangelicals) is not a reach. The historical evidence is pretty convincing, and as my former therapist once said, "the best predictor of future behavior is the past--unless those people are willing to work very hard to change."

steves said...

The issue of Evangelicals has come up a lot on the few conservatives forums that I frequent. I don't claim that they are representative of conservatism, but there seems to be a lot of support for 'dumping' Evangelicals or at least moving away from socially conservative issues. I don't think it is realistic to completely alienate the Evangelicals, but I think it is time to focus on something besides gay marriage and abortion.