In today’s Washington Post, Michael Gerson analyzes some of the findings from the Pew Research poll that I referenced earlier this week. He argues that there is not any evidence that evangelicals have diminished their opposition to abortion. Moreover, the statistics show that younger evangelicals are more committed to the pro-life cause than their elders.
He also discusses the prospect of evangelical pro-lifers crossing over to vote for the pro-choice Obama. He writes:
‘An evangelical vote for Obama requires a large mental adjustment: “I like his views on poverty or torture or climate change, even though he cannot bring himself to oppose the most brutal form of abortion.” This may work for some, particularly more loosely affiliated evangelicals. But for most pro-life people, the protection of innocent life is not one issue among many, it is the most basic, foundational commitment of a just society. And John McCain has his own appeal to these voters — remaining pro-life while opposing torture, addressing climate change and championing human rights in places such as Burma and Sudan. So far, McCain’s support among evangelicals is holding up — a recent poll shows McCain with a three to one advantage over Obama.
‘In today’s environment of discontent and reassessment, a Democratic presidential candidate might achieve a historic political breakthrough with religious voters. Obama has great advantages in this attempt — except on the issue that matters most.’