Republicans have assumed for 10 years that they have a lock on the evangelical community. But the chart above shows that even though the evangelicals make up 26% of the population, only half of that group are what we would call Fundamentalists or traditionalists. These are the people who oppose the teaching of evolution. Today, Obama is going to begin a process of going after the other half of the evangelical community.
Mr. Obama and his advisers are seeking support among relatively moderate evangelicals and are trying to take advantage of signs that some conservative Christians are rethinking their politics, urged along by a new generation of leadership and intensified concern about issues including climate change, genocide, AIDS and poverty.
Between now and November, the Obama forces are planning as many as 1,000 house parties and dozens of Christian rock concerts, gatherings of religious leaders, campus visits and telephone conference calls to bring together voters of all ages motivated by their faith to engage in politics. It is the most intensive effort yet by a Democratic candidate to reach out to self-identified evangelical or born-again Christians and to try to pry them away from their historical attachment to the Republican Party.
My guess is that this effort could be quite successful. He doesn’t have to win more than a slice of this group to radically change the electoral outcome in severral key states. As the Times points out.
And polls indicate that evangelicals and other religious voters are already migrating away from their overwhelming support of the Republicans, some because of disillusionment about the war, others because of concern about global warming, still others because of uncertainty about the economy.