If you listen to Christian radio, get ready to hear Barack Obama talking about his Christian journey. And it's coming to a red state near you.
The Matthew 25 Network political action committee is coming out with new pro-Obama radio ads that highlight his Christianity. One of them is called, “Source of Hope.” You can listen to it here.
There will be two other radio ads as well on Christian radio including one from the pro-life conservative legal scholar Douglas Kmiec who defends Obama’s position on abortion. Listen to that one here.
These radio ads will be on Christian music stations in the following states: Michigan, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina. Did you notice how many red states are in there?
Have you seen the latest Barna poll? They are very well respected in the polling industry. Read below to see there very interesting research on Obama’s appeal to “Born Again Christians”. Read through the whole thing because you need to understand how they define Born Again Christians. They are considered a little different than Evangelical Born Again Christians.
Yes, Sarah Palin has helped mobilize and motivate conservative Evangelicals to support the McCain/Palin ticket to a certain degree. The numbers clearly show that. But remember, the Obama campaign has been talking faith and values from the very beginning of their primary campaign. They have been in small communities explaining Obama's positions and how faith plays a major role in shaping them. That effort seems to be paying off because they were able to define who Obama is early. Read Barna below.
One of the surprising insights of the research is the significant inroads Sen. Obama has made among the Christian community, particularly compared to 2004. In fact, among born again voters there is a statistical dead-heat: 45% plan to vote for Sen. McCain, while 43% expect to cast a ballot for Sen. Obama. Even if Sen. McCain were to sweep the 10% who are undecided born again voters, he would fail to reach the 62% who rallied for President Bush in 2004.
The born again segment is large and diverse. This November, born again voters figure to represent nearly one out of every two votes (48%), but they are far from a monolithic voting bloc. Barna Group surveys differentiate between two segments within the born again population - evangelicals and non-evangelical born again Christians. [Note: Most media polls use a simplistic approach to define evangelical, asking survey respondents if they consider themselves to be evangelical. Barna Group studies, on the other hand, ask a series of nine questions about a person’s religious beliefs in order to determine if they are an evangelical.]
The larger of the two groups, non-evangelical voters, represent 39% of likely voters. Currently, a plurality support Sen. Obama over Sen. McCain (48% to 41%). Nine percent of these voters are undecided, theoretically giving either candidate a chance to win this segment of voters. However, if voter preference sustains through Election Day, John McCain will not duplicate the significant margin enjoyed by George Bush over John Kerry four years ago among non-evangelical born again Christians (56% to 44%).
An equally surprising insight from the research is the fact that Obama has cut into the advantage Republicans enjoyed among the smaller, more conservative segment of evangelicals. Although evangelicals will represent about 9% of likely voters this November, they have been a critical base of solidly Republican voting for several decades. In 2004, for instance, 85% of these voters selected George Bush.
However, with two weeks to go before the election just 63% said they are supporting the Arizona Senator, compared with 23% who opted for the candidate from Illinois. With 12% of the evangelical vote undecided, there is still a chance for McCain to expand his advantage with this group. Nevertheless, support for Obama has steadily increased over the summer months, moving from 9% of evangelicals who supported Obama in May to 17% in late July to the current level of 23%.
"Born again Christians" are defined as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents are not asked to describe themselves as "born again."
"Evangelicals" meet the born again criteria (described above) plus seven other conditions. Those include saying their faith is very important in their life today; believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon church attendance or the denominational affiliation of the church attended. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as "evangelical."
Non-evangelical born again Christians meet the born again criteria described above, but not the evangelical criteria. Notional Christians are those who consider themselves to be Christian but do not meet the not born again criteria.