Evangelical Support for John McCain Increasing

October 31, 2008 at 7:57 am Leave a comment

john-mccain-7.jpgChristian evangelicals and conservatives are not only largely supporting Republican candidate John McCain, but their support has actually increased, according to a newly released survey.

Crosswalk.com, the largely popular Christian web portal affiliated
with faith-based media giant Salem Communications, polled its email
subscribers this week and found a three-point increase (from 80 to 83)
in support for McCain over the past month and a one-point decrease
(from 13 to 12) in support for Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

The 979 users who responded to the survey were also found to be largely supportive of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin,
who had electrified the conservative base after being tapped for the
spot in August. While two percent said they no longer supported the
Alaska governor as a candidate, about 20 percent said they favored her
more as a candidate than they did a month ago.

“Although Sen. Barack Obama’s lead over Republican candidate
John McCain has reached double-digits in some states, the Democratic
candidate has yet to convince Christian conservatives,” Crosswalk
noted.

The latest poll paints a picture different from that of the Pew
Research survey released earlier in the week, which showed support for
McCain slipping among Christian evangelicals.

According to Pew, the percentage of evangelicals supporting
McCain dropped from 74 to 65 in the last three weeks, while Obama
gained four percentage points to move up to 22 percent.

Overall, Pew found that the 48 percent of Protestants in
general that had supported McCain earlier in the month dropped to 43
percent as of last week, while support for Obama went from 43 to 47.

“Currently, McCain holds a statistically significant advantage
only among white evangelical Protestants (aside from Republicans),” Pew
stated in its report Tuesday.

Another faith-based survey released this week that illustrated
the drastic difference between the voting preferences of evangelicals
versus other Protestants was that conducted this month by LifeWay
Research.

According to results of the LifeWay survey released Thursday,
36 percent of mainline pastors plan to vote for McCain, 37 percent
support Obama, and 24 percent are undecided. Meanwhile, out of
self-identified evangelicals, 66 percent said they plan to vote for
McCain, 13 percent said they are for Obama, and 19 percent were
undecided.

“Mainline pastors reflect the American setting – they are split
between Obama and McCain,” observed Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay
Research.

Self-identified evangelical pastors, on the other hand, are
overwhelmingly for McCain, he added, drawing a conclusion similar to
that of Crosswalk’s general Christian survey.

A very noticeable difference, however, between LifeWay’s
findings and that of other faith-based polls was in the data from
Protestants in general.

LifeWay found that 55 percent of Protestant pastors had said
they plan to vote for McCain. Notably, however, only 20 percent said
they planned to vote for Obama. A full 22 percent remain undecided.

“Protestant pastors are strongly for McCain,” observed Stetzer.
But the number of undecideds given the late date in the campaign is
“suprising,” he added.

“The undecided bloc appears to consist largely of pastors
identifying themselves as ‘moderate’ or ‘conservative,'” LifeWay
observed.

The LifeWay survey also found that more than half (53 percent)
of Protestant pastors had personally endorsed candidates for public
office this year – outside of their church roles. And less than 3
percent agree that they have publicly endorsed candidates for public
office during a church service this year.

Source: Christian Post

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