Religion and Ethics Weekly: Religious Support in the Presidential Primaries

Professor JOHN GREEN (Senior Fellow, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and Director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, University of Akron, Ohio): Well Kim, there’s a couple of interesting patterns here. Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have competed very evenly for the votes of white Protestants, both mainline Protestants and evangelical Protestants. And in the states where Senator Obama has won, such as in Iowa, he tended to do a little bit better in that competition. Whereas the states where Senator Clinton won, she tended to do a little bit better — so a lot of division among white Protestants. Part of the dynamic here, though, is age. Barack Obama seems to have done very well with younger evangelicals, younger mainline Protestants — some of them very observant in religious terms, but also some of them perhaps not as observant. So he’s kind of gotten both ends of the spectrum. Whereas Senator Clinton really appealed much more to older mainline Protestants and evangelicals.

[KIM] LAWTON: And what about the Catholic vote, which is so important in this election?

Prof. GREEN: One of the really interesting things here is that Senator Clinton really has done a lot better in the Catholic vote in all of the early primary states. She’s done very well among white Catholics, a critical constituency for the fall campaign. She’s also done well among Hispanic Catholics. That’s one area where Senator Obama has not been able to compete as effectively thus far.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008