If this Barna poll
of Evangelicals* is right, McCain has a LOT of work to do. From the poll’s synopsis:
1. Among likely voters, Sen. Obama holds a 50% to 35% lead over Sen. McCain.
2. There are relatively few undecided voters – just 15% of the registered voters who are likely to vote have not yet chosen a candidate to support. For Sen. McCain to be competitive, he would have to sweep all of those votes – and then some. That possibility is made particularly remote by the finding that a majority of the undecided likely voters are leaning toward the Democrat.
3. Likely voters who intend to cast their ballot for Sen. Obama are more solidly backing their candidate than is the case among those who support Sen. McCain. Whereas 73% of the Obama voters are “absolutely certain” that they will vote for him, just 59% of the McCain voters are equally committed.
4. Likely voters siding with Sen. Obama are considerably more confident that he will win the election than is the case among those who say they will vote for Sen. McCain. A majority of the Obama voters (53%) believe their candidate will win, compared to less than one-third (31%) of those who say they will vote for Sen. McCain. This matters because past election research has indicated that such confidence affects people’s likelihood of turning out to vote.
5. Registered Democrats who are likely to vote are much more excited about the upcoming election than are registered Republicans who are likely to vote, by a 48% to 30% margin.
6. There is a large proportion of young adults who are newly registered to vote but have never cast a ballot who are likely to vote in November. Those people are heavily Democratic and lean decisively toward Sen. Obama.
Which is probably why the Obama announced last week they are making this big push with young Evangelicals and Catholics. Mike Huckabee might be looking better and better to McCain…
*The poll is of likely voters, and this is the statistic that I was aiming for, but wrote badly, it’s the non-Evangelical born again voters McCain has to worry about — and his relative strength with Evangelicals doesn’t help him make up the difference. Apologies, posted this too quickly.
But the big news in the faith realm is the sizeable defection from Republican circles of the much larger non-evangelical born again and the notional Christian segments. The non-evangelical born again adults constitute 37% of the likely voters in November, and the notional Christians are expected to be 39% of the likely voters. Among the non-evangelical born again adults, 52% supported President Bush in 2004; yet, only 38% are currently supporting Sen. McCain, while 48% are siding with Sen. Obama. Although notional Christians voted for John Kerry in 2004 by an 11-point margin, that gap has more than doubled to 26 points in this year’s election. Protestants and Catholics have moved toward the Democratic challenger in equal proportions since 2004.