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Post-election poll

Sponsor: Faith in Public Life, Sojourners, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Released: 2008-11

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• Almost twice the number of white evangelicals who voted for Obama say he “shares their values,” is “friendly” to religion.

• Obama significantly improves upon perceptions of Democratic Party’s “friendliness” to religion. Fifty-four percent of voters see Obama as friendly to religion, a 16-point improvement over his party’s numbers.

• Palin nomination resulted in net loss for GOP ticket. Palin’s nomination increased support among fewer than one-third of white evangelicals (30%), and decreased support among every other religious group and political independents.

• Religious voters want a broad agenda. While 1-in-5 evangelicals and 1-in-8 Catholics say an agenda focused primarily on abortion and same-sex marriage best reflects their values, majorities of evangelical and Catholic voters want a broad agenda.

• Evangelical, Catholic voters reject narrow political focus, embrace the common good. Large majorities of Catholics (72%) and white evangelicals (81%) say people of faith should focus on all issues that are central to their values even if it makes them less effective in politics, rather than focusing on one or two issues in order to be more politically effective. Strong majorities of both groups also believe people of faith should advocate for policies that “protect the interests of all and promote the common good,” rather than policies that “protect their values and way of life.”

• Common ground approach to reducing abortion is overwhelmingly popular. The vast majority (83%) of voters, including white evangelicals (86%) and Catholics (81%), believe elected leaders should work together to find ways to reduce abortions by helping prevent unwanted pregnancies, expanding adoption, and increasing economic support for women who want to carry their pregnancies to term.