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Christian Right Regrouping After Obama Win November 10, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, McCain, Obama, Politics, Religion, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Huffington Post:

Pundits declared evangelicals among of Election Day’s losers. Conservative Christian leader James Dobson confessed he was grieving. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said religious right leaders “kept their own flock in line, but the majority of Americans were unmoved.”

But few are writing obituaries this week for the Christian right, which has been wrongly considered dead after setbacks like the demise of the Moral Majority and crumbling of the Christian Coalition.

White evangelicals remain a large, loyal and organized Republican voting bloc that delivered Tuesday for John McCain but could not offset the battery of factors working against Republicans in 2008.

One pressing question in the wake of Barack Obama’s historic victory is whether the Christian right can grow its own ranks or take positions with broader appeal. Some Republicans believe a tight embrace of social conservative values turns off independents and moderates, but many Christian right leaders resist compromise and contend that, if anything, the GOP has strayed too far from its principles.

Once again, conservative evangelicals engaged in politics find themselves at a crossroads.

“Do they want to be an oppositional force, lambasting the administration at every turn, which can help their organizations raise money?” said Mark Rozell, a political science professor at George Mason University. “Or do they find ways to intersect with new leadership and either try to minimize damage to their agenda or move forward issues where they can find consensus? It’s an important turning point for the movement.”

Exit polls showed McCain carried white evangelicals 74 percent to 24 percent _ not far off George Bush’s 79 percent to 21 percent margin over John Kerry in 2004.

Six in 10 white evangelicals ranked the economy as their most important issue _ slightly less than the voting population as a whole. One difference that emerged was over terrorism: 14 percent of white evangelicals identified that as their top issue, compared with 7 percent of all other voters.

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