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How People of Faith Voted in the 2008 Presidential Race

Sponsor: The Barna Group
Released: 2008-11

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Evangelicals chose their candidate on a different set of indicators than did other voters. When asked their primary reason for supporting the candidate they selected, 40% of evangelicals said it was because of the candidate’s position on moral issues. Only 9% of other voters listed that as their driving reason. Other significant reasons for evangelical voters included their candidate’s political experience (23%) and his character (15%).

(Unlike other polls, Barna surveys classify a person as an evangelical based upon their answers to nine questions about their theological beliefs.)

Three-fourths of atheists and agnostics (76%) gave their vote to Sen. Obama, while only 23% backed Sen. McCain. That is a step up from the level of support Democrats have previously received from skeptics. In 2004, 64% of atheists and agnostics voted for Democratic challenger John Kerry.