Why do you think an increasing number of evangelicals are supporting President Obama?
April 4, 2012
As the 2012 election campaign approaches phase two – when the major-party candidates have been selected and begin to square off – there is an unmistakable lack of ideological and political unity within the Christian community. A new national survey by the Barna Group among likely voters indicates that there are substantial differences across a wide spectrum of Christian subgroups, with only a one segment unwavering in its commitment to defeat President Obama in November….
Christian evangelicals represent about 7% of the adult population and 10% of the likely voter population. (In other words, they are much more likely to turnout on Election Day than are people from most other population groups.) Among evangelicals, Mr. Obama received little fervent support; only 3% to 5% said they would “definitely” vote for him, depending upon his Republican rival. That paled in comparison to the 53% to 58% who said they would “definitely” support a Republican opponent. That margin of intensity was unrivaled across all other religious subgroups.
Evangelicals were one of just a handful of subgroups among whom support for the Republican candidate did not waiver according to who the Republican nominee is.
In the 2008 election, a Barna Group election study found that evangelicals gave Mr. Obama just 11% of their votes, even though Republican challenger John McCain was generally not appreciated much by the group.
One of the most striking changes emerging from the new study is that if evangelicals wind up supporting the eventual candidates in November in numbers consistent with their current preferences, Mr. Obama will receive double the support from the evangelical community he garnered four years ago (22%).