September 4, 2006


Not God's Party: A new poll shows Democrats are losing (more) religious voters. (Amy Sullivan, Aug. 29, 2006, Slate)

[I]t is startling that in the two years since this Democratic revival began, the party's faith-friendly image has dimmed rather than improved. The Pew Research Center's annual poll on religion and politics, released last week, shows that while 85 percent of voters say religion is important to them, only 26 percent of Americans think the Democratic Party is "friendly" to religion. That's down from 40 percent in the summer of 2004 and 42 percent the year before that—in other words, a 16-point plunge over three years. The decline is especially troubling because it cuts across the political and religious spectra, encompassing liberals and conservatives, white and black evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. [...]

Two years ago, half of Democrats thought that their party was friendly to religion. Now that number has dropped to 39.6 percent, with a 12-point decline among respondents who aren't affiliated with a religious tradition. These Democrats view the party's interest in talking to religious voters as a sure betrayal of the party's principles. Rarely is there an acknowledgment that Democratic politicians—and Democratic voters—hold liberal political views precisely because of their religious beliefs, that caring for the most vulnerable in society and protecting God's creation are imperatives, too.

Another big drop—14 points in two years—surfaced in the percentage of black Protestants who see Democrats as religion-friendly. That's a sure sign that despite their outreach efforts in black churches, Democrats aren't necessarily listening to the folks in the pews. African-Americans may still be the most reliably Democratic constituency, but they are far more socially and theologically conservative than gauzy references to the bygone civil rights era reveal. And they're still not finding a lot of room to talk about those views in the party.

Finally, Catholic voters are increasingly skeptical. Support for Democrats' approach to religion dropped by 10 points among Catholic Democrats, 16 points among Catholic Independents, and 25 points among Catholic Republicans, including a 9-point decline just in the last year. As the party hemorrhages Catholic support at the polls, it's past time to hire a national party staffer to focus on Catholic outreach and strategy. Alas, the Democratic National Committee has been looking for a year to fill such a position, with no results.

The Democrats are nothing anymore but a reactionary party and one of the main things they're reacting against is consveratives' attempt to remoralize social issues after the spiritual rot of the 60s and 70s. If you're reacting against Judeo-Christianity how can you be seen as favorably disposed to it?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2006 11:16 AM

Appeasement, sodomy, and abortion... and don't forget higher taxes... somebody has to pay for all that death and disease.

Posted by: lebeaux at September 4, 2006 10:12 PM

Look at Bobby Casey in PA - he can't give a coherent answer to any question, yet he was Schumer's pick to appease the 'religious' voters who might otherwise re-elect Santorum.

And don't think that the Terry Schiavo story hasn't hurt the Dems in the long run.

Morality is not wearing a long face (as C.S. Lewis put it); it is actually doing something difficult for the right reasons. The Democrats have yet to do something difficult.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 4, 2006 10:21 PM

Trotting out Jim Wallis for the cable shows (or, more particularly, PBS) just doesn't cut it.

Posted by: ratbert at September 4, 2006 11:51 PM

It is quite simple: we do not trust them. We know they have sold themselves to the witches.

Put it this way: live babies talk, bull***t walks.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 5, 2006 7:04 AM