New Poll: Latino Protestants, Immigration and the 2008 Election

October 14, 2008, 2:59 pm | Posted by


WASHINGTON – Results of a new poll on the views of Latino Protestants on immigration and politics in the 2008 election will be released in a conference call for journalists on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. EDT. This growing and influential voting bloc provided crucial support for George W. Bush in 2004, and promises to play a prominent role in the 2008 election.

The results of the survey, conducted one month before the presidential election, reveal new data about Latino Protestants on topics such as candidate preference, opinions on immigration as a religious issue, views on immigration as an important issue in determining who to vote for, trust in political parties when it comes to immigration reform, and views about which party or parties are most associated with negative rhetoric about immigrants.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Jesse Miranda Center, Faith in Public Life, America’s Voice Education Fund and Dr. Gastón Espinosa, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University. The results of the survey are based on telephone interviews with 500 Latino Protestant registered voters under the supervision of SDR Consulting – October 1-7, 2008. More than 80 percent of Latino Protestants self-identified as born-again and/or attended an Evangelical denomination.


WHO: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Dr. Jesse Miranda, Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership

Dr. Gastón Espinosa, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Claremont McKenna College

Katie Paris, Director of Communications Strategy, Faith in Public Life

WHEN: Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

DIAL-IN: 888-674-0222 Call ID: Latino Protestant Poll

RSVP: Email or call Kristin Williams at or 202.459.8625 to reserve your place.

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Creation Care Summit to be held at Calvin College in Michigan Just Weeks Before Election

October 10, 2008, 12:03 pm | Posted by

Summit brings together evangelical, political and scientific leaders to address climate change, global poverty

(GRAND RAPIDS) – Just weeks before the election, a Creation Care Summit will be held October 18 at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. National and local evangelical, political and scientific leaders will come together to address climate change and its impact on global poverty, treating it for what it is– an important faith and values issue.

Now more than ever, evangelical Christians – young evangelicals, in particular – are addressing a new, broader agenda. Global poverty and the environment are at the top of this new agenda. The summit will allow students and members of the broader community to discern how to faithfully respond to a world in crisis. The summit will include keynote presentations, panels, discussion, and an “Alliance for Climate Protection, Faith Leader Training” from the WE campaign.

WHEN: Saturday, October 18, 3-6 PM


Matthew Sleeth, author of Serve God, Save the Planet

Jonathan Merritt, national spokesperson for the Southern Baptist Environment & Climate Initiative

OTHER PRESENTERS INCLUDE: Steve Monsma, Calvin College: Paul Henry Institute; Mark Brewer, Michigan Democratic Party; Scott Greenlee, Former McCain Campaign State Director; Peter Vander Meulen, Christian Reformed Church; Kenneth Piers, Calvin College: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

WHERE: Calvin College- The Chapel (1835 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546)

REGISTER: Visit to reserve your place.

SPONSORS: Oxfam America, Faith in Public Life, Calvin College Political Science Department, International Development Studies Program, Office of Community Engagement, and Paul Henry Institute for Christianity and Politics.

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What Americans Hear In Church

October 8, 2008, 4:09 pm | Posted by

If you’re a white evangelical or black Protestant attending church in America, you have probably heard a thing or two about homosexuality. If you’re Catholic, maybe not.

Those are among the findings of a new survey conducted by Public Religion Research on behalf of Faith in Public Life, a non-partisan resource center.

It found that among the white evangelicals and black Protestants surveyed, 67 percent said their pastor speaks out about the issue of homosexuality — among Catholics that number drops to 37 percent.

But Catholics at 78 percent were the most likely to hear about abortion while attending a religious service.

Hunger and poverty topped the list of what Americans from a range of Christian denominations hear in church. Among white mainline Protestants, 88 percent reported their clergy speaking about such things; among Catholics, 90 percent did.

Immigration was at the bottom of the list. Among white evangelical Protestants only 12 percent reported their pastors speaking about the issue.

The survey included a national sample of 2,000 adults including an oversample of 974 respondents aged 18 to 34.

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Monthly Church Attenders Swing Obama’s Way

October 8, 2008, 4:06 pm | Posted by

Americans who attend church once or twice a month have become a sought after “swing vote” — and they are swinging to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the run-up to the Nov 4. presidential election.

That is one of the key findings of a new survey conducted by Public Religion Research on behalf of Faith in Public Life, a non-partisan resource center.

It found that, based on religious service attendance, the biggest shift in candidate preferences between 2004 and 2008 was among those who went once or twice a month. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry got 49 percent of their vote in 2004 while Obama is now pulling 60 percent.

But in a reflection of the 2004 race, Obama’s Republican rival John McCain “maintains a significant advantage among voters who attend more frequently, while Obama has a nearly identical advantage over McCain among those who attend less than a few times a month or never,” the survey says.

Among those who attend religious services more than twice a week, the survey found McCain leads Obama 60 percent to 34 percent. Kerry in 2004 garnered 35 percent of that vote.

McCain also maintains a significant lead with white evangelical Protestants, a key Republican base which helped propel President George W. Bush to power. This base has been energized by McCain’s selection of staunch conservative Christian Sarah Palin as his running mate and the Arizona senator leads Obama among them by 68 to 25 percent.

Among younger white evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 34 that narrows to 65 to 29 percent — a finding in keeping with other polls on the subject. This suggests Obama has made some inroads into the evangelical political monolith though his gains have been minimal despite an extensive faith outreach program.

The survey also found that 49 percent of Americans think Obama is friendly to religion and 45 percent think McCain is friendly to religion — numbers that both candidates may find discouraging since neither chalks up a majority on that score.

The survey includes a national sample of 2,000 adults including an oversample of 974 respondents aged 18 to 34. It was conducted from Aug 28 to Sept 19, so it was obviously before the second televized presidential debate.

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The Young and the Faithful

October 8, 2008, 4:04 pm | Posted by

Fascinating new poll out today by Faith in Public Life that looks at young people and their views of the candidates. Here are four high points, which come from the Young the Faithful survey and a conference call I just got off of with Katie Paris of Faith in Public Life, Amy Sullivan of Time, Robert Jones of Public Religion Research and Michael Lindsay of Rice University:

1. Rod, watch it. The culture war may be dead.

The survey showed that gay marriage is much less of a big deal to young voters, even evangelical young voters. A majority of young evangelicals (18-35 year olds) support same sex marriage or civil unions.

2. Latinos are driving the young Catholic vote. 41 percent of young Catholics were Latinos, and they favor a bigger role for government. (Sorry Hash.) Michael Lindsay of Rice attributes this in part to Catholic social teaching giving more room for government. He also says that young Latinos are mobilizing for this election.

3. Obama’s closing the God gap. McCain’s doing well with weekly church attenders, but Obama’s leading among those who go to church once or twice a month. This is a huge shift in Obama’s favor from 2004, when Kerry significantly trailed Bush among church attenders.

It’s also interesting that Obama’s seen as more friendly to religion than McCain. Even though he’s ahead there by just by a narrow margin, Obama’s light years away from where Kerry was in 2004. Big help for Dems

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