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Religion and the Vote

October 8, 2008, 3:59 pm | Posted by ehouser
Washington Post, The Trail
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Survey Shows Obama Leading Among Catholics

A group of progressive pollsters and activists Wednesday released a new survey about religion and the election that suggests the culture wars may be on the wane.

The poll, commissioned by the group Faith in Public Life and conducted by the firm Public Religion Research, concluded that attitudes about abortion, legal recognition of same-sex relationships and the size of government are changing among young people.

A majority of white evangelicals, ages 18 to 34, favor either same-sex marriage or civil unions, compared with a majority of older evangelicals who favor no legal recognition, the poll found. Six in 10 young Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with half of older Catholics. Young Catholics are more pro-government than any other faith group.

Younger evangelicals are less likely to identify as Republicans, or as “conservatives,” though they are not signing up to vote for Barack Obama, the poll showed, mirroring other previous research on that subject.

“What we see is younger Americans, including younger Americans of faith — they are not the culture war generation,” said Robert P. Jones, president of Public Religion Research. “They are bridging the divides that have entrenched the older generation.”

The poll also found that Obama leads among Catholic voters of all ages, 51 percent to 40 percent. In 2004, Democrat John F. Kerry (47 percent) lost this group to President Bush (52 percent).

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