Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Religious voters and the candidates

This Pew Forum squib provides some nice graphics about trends in religious groups’ candidate preferences. The McCain/Obama 2008 split is looking very much like the Bush/Kerry 2004 split. Indeed, as many have remarked, the 2008 electoral map looks quite similar to the 2004 map, with the same swing states and the same swing constituencies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you view the electorate through a religious prism: American Catholics are the crucial swing constituency. Obama had trouble with them in the primary season, and he’s having trouble with them now. Joe Biden, Catholic though he is, doesn’t help, for reasons that are obvious to any observant and obedient Catholic.

The McCain campaign has to hope that the Catholic swing toward him (or away from Obama) continues; it will make those battleground states a little more hospitable.

Discussions - 4 Comments

For most of the year, I've just assumed (to my great chagrin) that Obama is going to win, for the "structural" reasons usually cited (W's unpopularity, difficulty of same party holding WH for a 3rd straight term, economic anxiety, war fatigue, etc.).

But then I look at how poorly O. did during the primaries in those big Rust Belt states with lots of blue-collar Catholics--Pennsylvania, especially--and I wonder. Even after Hillary's candidacy had plainly become a lost cause, she clobbered him there.

If memory serves, O. also underperformed his preelection poll numbers in those places--real evidence of a Bradley effect in his case?

But then again, the Keystone State has tantalized Republicans in recent presidential elections but wound up going blue anyway (likewise WI and MN), so maybe that dynamic will hold again.

Election night may not be a long night after all. Should O. flip VA, we'll know it's all over; likewise the other way if Mac somehow flips PA.

And yet, Jay Cost says this is all going to be decided by that small slice of the electorate (about 4%) that is still really and truly undecided, and won't make up its mind until quite late in the race. So maybe the debates will be the key.

Obama can't connect with ordinary Americans. Despite all the puff pieces, despite all the puff interviews, despite the best efforts of his auxilaries in the media, ------------- the instincts and the suspicions of the American people are dead right, ------------ they don't trust Obama, they deem him slightly odd, {Wright, "community organizer"...} ------------- and they're not overfond of his marketing technique, {vote for me, or you're a racist!}.

Had Bush been even remotely close to a normal politico, Obama would be getting his doors blown out about now.

Had America anything that somewhat resembled a proper press, Obama would not even be the Democratic nominee.

Looking at my first post, I see that I neglected to mention that Obama also heavily outspent Hillary in PA, by something like 4-to-1 if memory serves, yet still got whupped. Hmmm. . .

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