Evangelical Group Releases Poll on Latino Protestant Attitudes in 2008 Election

October 16, 2008, 1:35 pm | Posted by

Poll Finds Significant Shift Away from Republican Ticket;

Immigration on Par with Abortion as a Priority “Faith” Issue


CONTACT: Katie Paris or Kristin Williams, 202-459-8625

or Paco Fabián, 202-463-8602×305, pfabian@americasvoiceonline.org

October 16, 2008

(Washington, DC) – Today, several groups released a national survey of Latino Protestant voters and their views towards immigration in the 2008 election. One of the survey’s most significant findings is that Latino Protestant support for the Republican ticket has been cut nearly in half since the 2004 election.

On the issue of immigration, the survey found that 70.8 percent of Latino Protestants believe that immigration reform is an “extremely” or “very” important priority in determining who they will vote for. This number is higher than the issue of gay marriage as a priority (55.8 percent) and is on par with the issue of abortion (74.8 percent). Furthermore, 76.8 percent of respondents say that their religious beliefs are important in influencing their views on immigration.

“The Biblical mandate to welcome the immigrant could not be clearer and we draw our values from our Bibles,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who spoke during the press conference announcing the survey results. “This poll powerfully demonstrates that immigration is a profoundly religious issue for Hispanic evangelicals. We will vote our faith and we will vote our values. It’s time that all candidates take notice.”

However, both parties still have work to do when it comes to immigration. According to the survey results, a clear majority say they have heard public officials speak negatively about immigrants (62.2 percent). Those who have heard this negative rhetoric are as likely to associate it with both parties (43.4 percent) as they are with only Republicans (40.5 percent). 7.7 percent associate it with only Democrats.

“The findings indicate that both political parties have to work hard to secure and maintain their Latino support,” said Gastón Espinosa, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Claremont McKenna College. “The Latino Protestant community is a volatile voting constituency that is sensitive to direct political canvassing and bread-and-butter issues like immigration.”

According to the survey results, Latino Protestant registered voters favor Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain 50.4 percent to 33.6 percent with 10.4 percent of respondents still undecided. This represents a dramatic shift from 2004 when George W. Bush soundly won the Latino Protestant vote. According to 2004 post-election survey data, Bush won 63 percent of this segment of the Latino electorate.

“This poll shows that the pendulum of the Protestant Hispanic electorate has swung towards the Democratic Party,” said Jesse Miranda, of the Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership. “However, this energy can shift in the opposite direction unless there is support of what is important in terms of the interests and concerns of the largest minority in this country. This should be a clarion call to the next U.S. president,” he concluded.

“Latino Protestant voters are demonstrating a faith-based politics that puts moral solutions above ideology and sound bites,” added Katie Paris, Director of Communications Strategy at Faith in Public Life, a sponsor of the poll. “Consequently, they are commanding the attention of both parties and defying the outdated stereotype that people of faith are mired in partisanship,” she concluded.

More than 80 percent of Hispanic Protestants in the poll self-identified as born-again and/or attended an Evangelical denomination.

Sponsored by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, The Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership at Vanguard University, Faith in Public Life, America’s Voice Education Fund and Gaston Espinosa, Ph.D., Claremont McKenna College and conducted by SDR Consulting, the poll was in the field from October 1-7, 2008. The results are based on telephone interviews with 500 Latino Protestant registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

To view a full version of the polling memo, please visit http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/content/nslp/

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Colorado Faith Community Launches Campaign For Amendment 59

October 14, 2008, 3:00 pm | Posted by

Speaker Romanoff, We Believe Colorado work to protect education, taxpayers

Prominent leaders from the religious community and Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff will hold a press conference on Wednesday October 15, at 1:30 pm at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church to announce the faith community’s extraordinary campaign to mobilize voters to vote YES on Amendment 59 on the November ballot. The campaing, called “Embracing the Common Good,” is an effort of remarkable coordination and scope, in which religious leaders and legions of volunteers have mobilized more than 2,500 congregations statewide to support Amendment 59.

Amendment 59, which creates the Savings Account For Education (SAFE), ensures that government saves surplus funds in good economic times so Colorado’s children do not suffer from harsh education cuts during bad times — without raising taxes. This focus on sound stewardship and the common good is uniting diverse communities of faith, and many of the state’s prominent religious leaders – including Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Jews — have officially joined this campaign in favor of Amendment 59.

Faith leaders will be speaking in both Spanish and English at the press conference.

WHAT: Press conference announcing faith community campaign supporting Amendment 59

WHERE: Our Savior Lutheran Church, 915 E. 9th St, Denver, front steps

WHEN: Wednesday, October 15, 1:30 pm

WHO: Bishop Allan Bjomberg, Rocky Mountain Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

• House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Co-sponsor of Amendment 59 (S.A.F.E.)

• Jennifer Kraska, Executive Director, Colorado Catholic Conference

• Rev. Patrick L. Demmer, Vice-President, Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, Senior Pastor, Graham Memorial Church of God in Christ

• Rev. Andrew Simpson, Presiding Elder, Rocky Mountain District, African Episcopal Methodist Church, Upcoming President, Colorado Council of Churches

• Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Chair, Public Policy Commission, The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Jefferson Unitarian Church

• Pastor Jay McDivitt, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will be our Spanish speaker

• Imam A. Rahim Ali, Northeast Denver Islamic Center and Greater Denver Interfaith Alliance

• Rev. Jann Halloran, We Believe Colorado and Chair, Justice Commission, Colorado Council of Churches

Sponsoring organizations include We Believe Colorado; Hunger for Justice: Interfaith Voices Against Poverty; and Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado.

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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 kwilliams@faithinpubliclife.org 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 www.CalvinCreationCare.com 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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