Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Clinton and Obama split religious vote

It seems the Clinton campaign's concerns were either premature or a ploy to lower expectations because she won California handily, and for both parties a long fight appears to be in order. I asked last night how religious voters would chose between the two Democratic candidates considering Barack Obama has been better at infusing religious language in his speeches and, partially as a defense, has emphasized his Christian beliefs.

Well, on Super Tuesday they split the votes. Here is the analysis from preeminent religion and politics scholar John C. Green, via CT Liveblog:
Sen. Obama has clearly done very well among black Protestants, and that’s changed the equation. If you go back to the polls last year that showed Sen. Clinton way ahead, one of the reason was she was winning the black vote by a large margin and that doesn’t seem to be happening. White Catholics are really important to the extent that Clinton can hang on to them. One of the tasks for the Obama campaign is to find a way to reach into Catholic community. There’s quite a struggle over white Protestants. It appears that Clinton has an edge there as well, so a challenge for Sen. Obama. I see a pretty fierce struggle going forward and religious groups will be part of the mix.

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