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The God Gap: The Godless West?

Regular Fix readers know that we are endlessly fascinated with the intertwining of religion and politics.

Recent elections have revealed a significant gap between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to appealing to voters who attend church regularly and/or consider themselves religious.

In 2004, President George W. Bush scored huge victories over Sen. John F. Kerry among those who attend church more than weekly (64 percent to 35 percent) and those who go to church every week (58 percent to 41 percent). Among those who went to church monthly the contest was even, and Kerry emerged with wide margins among those who rarely or never went to church.

Understanding the religious (and non religious) vote in this country seems, to The Fix at least, to be one of the central keys to understanding the shape of the electorate as the November election draws ever closer.

To that end, Gallup released more details from its annual "Values and Belief" poll today that reveal a number of interesting chasms between religious and non religious voters.

The most interesting divide that is apparent from the Gallup results is that people living in western states are significantly less likely to believe in God than residents of any other geographic region of the country.

Less than six in ten Americans living in the West say they believe in God as compared to more than 80 percent who say the same in the east, Midwest and South. (Not surprisingly, the South features the highest percentage -- 86 percent -- of people who say they believe in God.)

That doesn't mean, however, that Westerners don't believe in any sort of higher power. Nearly three in ten say that have faith in a "universal spirit or higher power" -- more than double the percentage of people who say the same in any of the other three regions.

"The fact that, as compared with other regions, those from the Western United States have the lowest likelihood of believing in God does not come as a total surprise given other data showing that the West has a lower level of religiosity overall," writes Gallup poll director Frank Newport. "Still, the contrast between Westerners and those from other regions reflected in these data is fairly substantial."

The data is also particularly telling given the primacy of the West to the electoral calculations of both John McCain and Barack Obama.

While McCain has represented Arizona for more than two decades in the Senate, Democrats have made considerable gains in the West over the last few elections -- winning the governorships of Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado and taking House and Senate seats in Colorado, Montana and Arizona.

As a result, Obama is heavily targeting the region this fall in the belief that the West is moving inexorably in his party's favor.

The data from the Gallup poll seems to affirm the growing appeal in the region for Democrats who have traditionally done far better among secular voters than among those who consider themselves religious.

The numbers also make for an intriguing political calculation this fall for Obama. The Illinois senator has spoken far more openly about his faith and its importance in his life than past Democrats -- a development that many within the party have greeted with open arms, believing that it is the only way Democrats can close the God gap.

But, what if Obama's overt talk of his faith turns off voters in the West where Democrats seem to be ascendant?

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 28, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FixCam Week in Preview: Veepstakes Timing
Next: Veepstakes: Divining Obama's Thinking

Comments

Good thing Christopher Hitchens lives in the East.

TJ

Posted by: Jefferson2008 | August 7, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the most devout Christian to run for president in a long time (neither McCain nor Bush even regularly attend church). Obama's policies are clearly much more closely aligned with the teachings of Jesus (generous to the poor, loving of all equally, seeking peace, etc.) than those of pro-death warmonger McCain.

Posted by: lfivepoints69 | July 31, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The West is my God. Native Americans created many gods (Pantheism} to help meet their spiritual needs. Works for me.
Denver, CO

Posted by: 2 sense | July 29, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Too bad all you trailer trash don't have any money to bet on this.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

The experts, (Real experts) have Obama at 300 electoral votes already. It is pretty much over. The news people have to pretend there is something to talks about.

=========
Can anyone explain why I am already losing in the polls? this is supposed to be a Dem year. Even Dukakis was up by 17 points at this stage.

could it be because I am such a empty suit phony? the press was supposed to fix that for me. If I keep slumping down, I may arrive at Pelosi's level soon.

Posted by: snObama | July 28, 2008 3:11 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"Can anyone explain why I am already losing in the polls?"

You should probably read your numbers more carefully, Senator. USA Today has McCain up by four, but four other polls over the same period have you up by as little as one and as much as eight. Various statewide polls have you up in Colorado, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. You're also consistently crushing your opponent in New Mexico, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. That's 260 rock-solid electoral votes, even without CO, VA, FL, and OH. Chin up! I'd say the Presidency is yours for the taking.

Posted by: your campaign staff | July 28, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that Barack H has a chance at reaping the religious vote is smoking some serious stuff. The fiasco of his close relationship with the loony Rev'd Wright has forever cost BHO any legitimacy with those of faith in America.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

2000 and 2004 can be summed up in three words: God--Guns--Gays. Obama can't make much headway on the last two (not yet anyway) but he CAN cut into McCain's "God" vote. I say if Reagan can peal off blue-collar democrats, Barack is free to court church-goers. Will it turn off the free-thinking spiritualists of the West COAST? My guess is most of them are already so high on Barackjuice that they will go along with anything he says. Rock on, Barack!

Posted by: dch | July 28, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

man, you people going after Michelle are lower than whale crap. dianne72, have you ever done one positive thing for anybody ever? or is your self-worth based entirely on your output of slime on comment boards? Dear God: please deliver the American people from the politics of fear and hate.

Jesus apparently came down here and inveighed against hypocrisy, materialism and self-righteousness. His "followers" and their Republican friends are focused on demonizing people who are different, repealing the estate tax, and trying to impose their phony moral code on the rest of us (while violating it in their own bedrooms, hotel rooms and toilet stalls). Lovely crowd. Would that y'all had but one neck.

Posted by: The Big B | July 28, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I cannot speak for the whole of the West, but the Northwest is heavily influenced by Scandinavian culture... lots of settlers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden here. We still have huge Scandinavian celebrations. SeaFair (Seattle), the Scandinavian Celebration (Oregon..the name says it all), and plenty of other fairs all have Scandivavian roots. That said, for most Scandinavian's religion and faith are personal matters. You wont find a lot of Fundimentalists here, but you will find plenty of Evangelical's and even more irregular attenders of traditional churches (Catholic, Lutheran, etc.). I think it amounts to how the question is posed and my hunch is that there are just as many people here who consider themselves Chrsitian's as you will find anywhere else in the country.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The so-called God gap is due to traditions and values.

Boston was founded by people, Puritans, who had a certain set of values, radical Protestants, so there are more schools and churches per sq ft in Boston than anywhere else due to the belief that every child should be able to read and interpret the Bible.

People who pioneered new trails *tended* to be driven more by ambition and profit than tradition and spiritual matters.

And, of course, through the years the European immigrants, Irish and Italian especially, who have come to Boston and New York have come with their Catholic faith, and those who have stayed there often did so to carve out a niche for their family to arrive in. Thus family and religious values are a strong part of the eastern tradition.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain why I am already losing in the polls? this is supposed to be a Dem year. Even Dukakis was up by 17 points at this stage.

could it be because I am such a empty suit phony? the press was supposed to fix that for me. If I keep slumping down, I may arrive at Pelosi's level soon.

Posted by: snObama | July 28, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain never professed an overt religiosity. He was divorced uses vulgar language, and he voted to back stem cell research, although he's long been anti-abortion.

Obama used religion to secure a political power base. Now he's pandering with his refined stance on church-state issues. Ten percent of voters erroneously think he's Muslim.

So I'd say they cancel each other out on the religion issue.

But all that changes if MCain chooses Huckabee as his veep. Then he'll pick up the right-leaning evangelicals who base their political votes on religious perceptions.

Aside from Huck's obvious appeal in the South, he also helps in the West, since he plays bass guitar and probably knows some Bob Wills Texas swing.


IF YOU VALUE DEMOCRACY AND DUE PROCESS
RIGHTS,
HELP EXPOSE STATE-SUPPORTED VIGILANTE SQUADS:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

Posted by: scrivener | July 28, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Same fraud, new day: God is not religion & religion is not God. I'm continually amazed that people conflate the two.

Fitting God into any single religion is a fallacy -- and more importantly, an insult to God.

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | July 28, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry folks, I forgot to include this quote from the USA Today story. I know you were wondering why I didn't include a link as I always do unless I'm trying to hide something, as I was in this case:

"Gallup editor Frank Newport tells Jill that "registered voters are much more important at the moment," because Election Day is still 100 days away."

Posted by: sphinctator2 AKA kingofzouk AKA snObama AKA LOUD and DUMB AKA Ace McNumbnuts AKA.... | July 28, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the god vote, am I going to hell or something for thinking Dianne72's posts are funny?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I am not against war in every circumstance. I only want to retreat and surrender if the US military is involved.

Once, when someone stole my coke, I had to kick his butt. this is an understandable provocation and he deserved it.

Posted by: snObama | July 28, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

If the Gallup Poll is correct (meaningful) in its result, 'People in the West less likely to believe in God,' then you can't help asking, "why is that?" "How and why are these people different"? I would propose that the people who went West have a personality selectively filtered to be more independent-minded and more critical - personality factors required to challenge the religious indoctrination imposed upon almost everyone since birth.

Posted by: Jim | July 28, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I have been put under cover. I can't find a way to say anything nice about the USA so I will return sometime in December.

Posted by: M shanquia O"bama | July 28, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was Michelle LaTisha Robinson Obama. All sounds the same to me anyway...

Posted by: Sally | July 28, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

My friends, I promise to never use the war in Iraq for political purposes. Unless it is to accuse my opponent of using the war in Iraq for political purposes. I'm all over that shizzle.

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama's full name is Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, not, as an earlier poster claimed, Michelle "Shaniqua" Obama.

Not that it would make a bit of difference if it were. Jeez, some folks are every bit as dumb as they are racist.

Posted by: Bill | July 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

'Black Hawk Down' pilot criticizes Obama over canceled troops visit
Republican John McCain's presidential campaign has released a statement from Michael Durant, the U.S. Army helicopter pilot at the center of what became known as the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia, criticizing Democratic contender Barack Obama for canceling a planned visit last week to wounded U.S. troops in Germany. Durant says, in part:

"I've spent time at Ramstein recovering from wounds received in the service of my country, and I'm sure that Senator Obama could have made no better use of his time than to meet with our men and women in uniform there. That Barack Obama believes otherwise casts serious doubt on his judgment and calls into question his priorities."

Obama said Saturday that he didn't see the troops out of concern that "that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political."

Posted by: LOUD and DUMB | July 28, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

It seems the reality of an Obama presidency is circling the drain already. Poor Barack. We hardly knew ya!

Posted by: sphinctator2 | July 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

My friends, it is time to give you the straight dope. I changed 'talk' to 'dope' because it sounds hipper. My wife Cindy will give you the straight dope, directly from her charity. When she's first lady, we'd like to build on the Reagan legacy. Instead of Nancy's 'just say no' campaign, Cindy's theme will be 'I tried it - you won't like it.' And that's the straight dope.

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

According to polls, 80% of Americans go to church every week. According to church attendance figures, it's closer to 20%.

Maybe those of us in the West are just more likely to tell the truth.

Posted by: gziemann | July 28, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

My friends, what we have here is a failure to communicate. I am the straight talker. There is no need to record my straight talk, just ask me again and I'll give you the new straight talk.

Today's straight talk: we're going to make the Bush tax cuts for the nation's richest - like my wife - permanent. Then we're going to invest in movies with Phil Gramm. People spend a lot of money to watch his kind of movies. The budget will be balanced after two releases.


Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:14 PM
-------------------------------------------

Hey, you forgot about his "increase in Social Security taxes" as opposed to his "no new taxes".

I wish he'd use some of his money to buy a new shirt. He wears that blue and white checked one constantly. Maybe he's trying to win over the "blue collar workers" by wearing it all the time. Hope his washes it out now and then..ugh!!

Posted by: ossilot | July 28, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

My friends, what we have here is a failure to communicate. I am the straight talker. There is no need to record my straight talk, just ask me again and I'll give you the new straight talk.

Today's straight talk: we're going to make the Bush tax cuts for the nation's richest - like my wife - permanent. Then we're going to invest in movies with Phil Gramm. People spend a lot of money to watch his kind of movies. The budget will be balanced after two releases.


Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:14 PM
-------------------------------------------

Hey, you forgot about his "increase in Social Security taxes" as opposed to his "no new taxes".

I wish he'd use some of his money to buy a new shirt. He wears that blue and white checked one constantly. Maybe he's trying to win over the "blue collar workers" by wearing it all the time. Hope his washes it out now and then..ugh!!

Posted by: ossilot | July 28, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's not fair that I have to register my name on that website. I did my time.

When Obama is elected, I will go back to being sick instead of a criminal. then I can visit the playground again.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 28, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

My friends, fear not about the inroads of the godless in the west and/or mountain west. I am sending in my agents of intolerance to address this issue. They will know what to do.

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Someone should remind Michelle Shaniqua Obama that it is considered impolite to chew food with your mouth open. In my view this woman lacks the poise, grace, and good breeding to be First Lady. I saw this image of her eating a pork sandwich and I was aghast at the prospect of her entertaining in the White House. Can you imagine her sitting down to tea with Queen Elizabeth II? Do you think she will hang the god awful african art on the pristine White House walls? I can see her now doing fist bumps in the East Room while she whispers "whitey" under her breath.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 28, 2008 2:22 PM
-------------------------------------------

What an absolutely disgusting and racist post! You should be ashamed of yourself. I hope you don't call yourself "Christian" or an American. I wouldn't want you to be mentioned in the same group as myself. It upsets me so much that there are people like this still out there in this day and age. Good God Almighty....pray for them all.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

There's a huge problem with the data, and your analysis, when you start mentioning CO, NM, MT, WY, etc.--where I would wager faith in God is as high as the South:

The goofballs presenting the data broke out regions poorly. The three coastal states--CA, OR and WA have a completely different character than The Interior West, and their population so large they dwarf the results of the Interior West.

The data here is primarily giving us a picture of the coastal West, and then the results are being applied to hopeful gains in the Interior West. It makes no sense.

If the poll breaks out Interior West, I think you'll find polar opposite results, more in line with the South. If not, we don't have any good data.

The way it is, is like taking U.S. data and applying it to Alabama. While yes, Alabama is part of the U.S. its data is going to be radically different on many front. Same with Interior West as a subset of The West.

Posted by: Dave Cullen | July 28, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I prefer this name because it fits my predilections toward being a catcher. However, you can call me kingofzouk, or snObama, or Ace McNumbnuts, or LOUD and DUMB, or any other of my dozens of screen names.

Posted by: sphinctator2 | July 28, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I have decided to spend my entire campaign fund on hiring Bruce Springsteen or the rolling Stones to play an event on my behalf. Please tune in to this important night of television.

On a seperate note, I will be giving a speech on roughly the same night and time. I can't tell you exactly what time cause that would spoil the surprise. but you can be sure, all of america will be watching just to see me and cheer for me. don't turn off your set in the middle because I am not going to tell you how long the speech is and there is a surprise waiting at the end if you stay.

News headline the next day:

Obama singlehandedy breaks all TV viewer records.

and on page 23:

Stones pocket entire US treasury - Keith to buy Hawaii. rumors exist that a few tuned in to see them and not the messiah.

Posted by: snObama | July 28, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

As we have all heard on the Trinity Church's Rev. Jerimiah Wright Jr. tapes, Barack Obama's religion taught it's members racial hatred of all white people and hatred for America. Barack and Michelle Obama were members of this religion for more than 20 years. This ain't rocket science folks. Any person who becomes a member and stays a member of a racist white and America--hating church like that for 20 years is a racist white and America--hater! Now why would real believers in a religion and real church-goers vote for a racist white and America--hater like Barack Obama? They can't be that dumb.

Posted by: madhatter | July 28, 2008 1:03 PM
-------------------------------------------
Here you go Chris. You, too, can now say
"Mission Accomplished"!!

Madhatter - best name you could have used because your post sounds "quite" mad. You must be a "true" Christian.

Posted by: ossilot | July 28, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Someone should remind Michelle Shaniqua Obama that it is considered impolite to chew food with your mouth open. In my view this woman lacks the poise, grace, and good breeding to be First Lady. I saw this image of her eating a pork sandwich and I was aghast at the prospect of her entertaining in the White House. Can you imagine her sitting down to tea with Queen Elizabeth II? Do you think she will hang the god awful african art on the pristine White House walls? I can see her now doing fist bumps in the East Room while she whispers "whitey" under her breath.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 28, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

My friends, what we have here is a failure to communicate. I am the straight talker. There is no need to record my straight talk, just ask me again and I'll give you the new straight talk.

Today's straight talk: we're going to make the Bush tax cuts for the nation's richest - like my wife - permanent. Then we're going to invest in movies with Phil Gramm. People spend a lot of money to watch his kind of movies. The budget will be balanced after two releases.

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

We can all aspire to the legal practices of God-fearing Monica Goodling I guess!

Good God-fearing Monica graduated from Messiah College and obtained her law degree from "Regent University" - that important intellectual institution founded by Pat Robertson and featuring John Ashcroft as a "distinguished" faculty member.

If there is any justice, perhaps Ms. Goodling can be sentenced to work with a bleeding-heart liberal cause such as working with the homeless or in an AIDS ward.

Is it any wonder evangelicals are in trouble?

Posted by: dany | July 28, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone think of a real good excuse that I can use to change my views on energy. I am pretty sure that I will lose this election if I stick to my views.

I am perplexed because my insistence that the surge was a failure, still, despite all evidence, did not get the fawning press I deserve and am accustomed to. even the WaPo turned on me. how dare they. it is not about reality, it is about hope. and me of course. all me.

Posted by: snObama | July 28, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

My Friends-
I believe in equal pay for equal work. I do not believe in actually doing anything to promote equal pay for equal work. Sometimes talking out of both sides of my mouth makes my cheek bulge, but ignore that.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/07/mccain_on_equal_pay.html

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

When I am king...I mean god...I mean President, all worship will center around me. the MSM is already test driving this approach now.

did you see how those Germans love me? never mind the only ones left were too stoned to figure out the reggae concert was over and I was a different black guy.

Posted by: obamassiah | July 28, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

NoToObama - Your post has absolutely no connection to the article. Go away!!

Chris,

Gallup states that some people in the West believe in a "higher power" rather than God. What YOU have decided to say is that the people in the West are "faithless" and that Democrats as a whole are "faithless". I personally take a great deal of offense to that. What an absurd analysis and it's absurd to believe that because Obama is a person of faith, that the "faithless" will not vote for him. WHY do you find these things so interesting? Or was this your way to bring back the Wright controversy? You are using your column rather irresponsibly. Your column should have been about the fact that there should be separatation of Church and State and that regardless of what people believe, one vote has the same weight as another. Furthermore, and MORE importantly, WHY is there no mention of John McCain's religion? I don't think the man even has one. He just uses the usual "conservative lines" to "appear" he has faith. Perhaps Democrats are winning the West because people have learned that "getting religion" like Bush has not helped our nation. It just made him think HE's God!

Posted by: ossilot | July 28, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

NoToObama - Your post has absolutely no connection to the article. Go away!!

Chris,

Gallup states that some people in the West believe in a "higher power" rather than God. What YOU have decided to say is that the people in the West are "faithless" and that Democrats as a whole are "faithless". I personally take a great deal of offense to that. What an absurd analysis and it's absurd to believe that because Obama is a person of faith, that the "faithless" will not vote for him. WHY do you find these things so interesting? Or was this your way to bring back the Wright controversy? You are using your column rather irresponsibly. Your column should have been about the fact that there should be separatation of Church and State and that regardless of what people believe, one vote has the same weight as another. Furthermore, and MORE importantly, WHY is there no mention of John McCain's religion? I don't think the man even has one. He just uses the usual "conservative lines" to "appear" he has faith. Perhaps Democrats are winning the West because people have learned that "getting religion" like Bush has not helped our nation. It just made him think HE's God!

Posted by: ossilot | July 28, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Does the Fix have poll numbers to underwrite his concern that secularists give a flying spaghetti monster whether Barack fist bumps and high fives Bible thumpers? God-talk, by definition, means nothing, has no meaning, is meaningless. The unAmerican behavior of evangelicals is something else altogether, being subject to a higher authority: the US Constitution. Who cares if he fist bumps the faithful? As a Constitutional scholar, he'll soon enough enforce our most sacred document to protect our freedoms from the God-awful.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 28, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The question this election is how many of those church-attending voters will stay home. Part of the Obama math is a decrease in turnout of these voters combined with an increase in young and minority voters. That is how a 10-point red state is flipped.

The West is not demographically identical. If Utah is removed from the numbers, what happens? What is the makeup of the Southwest (AZ, NM, NV) versus the Northern Plains-Mountains (ID, WY, MT, ND, SD)? Are the Pacific coast states included?

Posted by: muD | July 28, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see "West" more clearly defined, Chris. Oregon, Washington, and California--the Pacific states, have consistently over the past decade or so polled as pretty godless, but that's not the case for the intermountain west. You need to look deeper (and probably elsewhere) for explanations on the Democratic gains in Montana and Colorado, particular.

Posted by: mcjoan | July 28, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

See I told you I don't need any help being a total idiot.

Posted by: sphinctator2 | July 28, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

My friends, I was going to get a full hour on MTP, but they missed the point and wouldn't let me schedule the interview for the spin room on my plane. Which has been renamed from Straight Talk Express to Stella Artois Express.

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't have anything to add, I just like to post nonsense and see my name on the screen. Hi mom!

Posted by: snObama | July 28, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

CHICAGO - Barack Obama, back in his home town after a tour of Afghanistan, the Middle East and Europe, saw a doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center on Sunday night to deal with a sore hip.

all that tap dancing and dodging hard questions can cause this sort of thing.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Chris you are on to something, that religion is going to mean something in this election. But it's not going to be east/west, it's the Roman Catholic vote, they will be the key swing vote! A key for McCain to have a chance at all to win is to break into the "ring of rust" Mich,Penn,Ohio Minn.Wisc.! The Roman Catholic vote is Key in these states. Bush beat Kerry in 04 52%to 48% if Kerry had done better with Roman Catholics in these states Ohio specifically he would be President today! McCains best bet to play is to pick Tom Ridge for VP and go for it All!

Posted by: Gordon | July 28, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I have been in this country for 5 years and when I arrived I was struck at how poor and uneducated most blacks are. I could never figure out why most had children out of wedlock, sold drugs, and were in jail. I suppose it is the slave metality from generations ago...

Posted by: | July 28, 2008 12:52 PM

======================================

I too am struck by how after only 5 years in this country you can give an such a highly informed and educated opinion about Black America

"Slave mentality" please sir, while I know you were attempting to give an objective opinion you've just insulted a whole race of people with your short-sided statements.

A majority of black people do not sell drugs and are criminals.

Posted by: jansjay | July 28, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

MTP: Here you are saying one thing...

BHO: I say a lot of different things that contradict.

MTP: you were wrong about the surge.

BHO: So was Bush

MTP: you have never been to Afghanistan and Iraq yet you chair the committee.

BHO: I'm busy, busy, busy.

MTP: will you debate Mcain as you promised?

BHO: I already debated hillary like 22 times. Can I get back to my waffle now?

Posted by: MTP already misses TR | July 28, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Interesting post. I really enjoyed it. Can you link to the data?

Thanks.

Posted by: George | July 28, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There is God and there is religion and you should never mistake one for the other

Posted by: nclwtk | July 28, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you are on to something but, your mind is holding you back. Religion is not automatic in the American mind. We are a relatively new culture that is ever changing. The political winds are blowing with change in the air. A good deal of people are fed up with the big political parties but, realize they must vote. So, don't be so surprised!

Posted by: DenisR | July 28, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mr. Obama and his handlers know he's an empty-suiter who can't answer questions without getting the answers first from his hundreds of handlers. That's why he refused to debate or participate in town meetings responding to invitations coming from Mr. McCain. That's why his handlers keep him away from the press. That's why he avoids questions and press conferences. That's why he sticks to his teleprompters and scripts. That's why when answers aren't provided in advance, he tends to get into trouble. How many times have you heard him say, "I'll be glad to debate that issue anytime anyplace."? Yeah, until he actually is asked to do so, and then he demonstrates he's the phony he is, with his rhetoric the opposite of his reality.

Posted by: No to Obama | July 28, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Another pointless posting from FIXORAMA

Posted by: Huh | July 28, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

As we have all heard on the Trinity Church's Rev. Jerimiah Wright Jr. tapes, Barack Obama's religion taught it's members racial hatred of all white people and hatred for America. Barack and Michelle Obama were members of this religion for more than 20 years. This ain't rocket science folks. Any person who becomes a member and stays a member of a racist white and America--hating church like that for 20 years is a racist white and America--hater! Now why would real believers in a religion and real church-goers vote for a racist white and America--hater like Barack Obama? They can't be that dumb.

Posted by: madhatter | July 28, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed by what Senator Obama has accomplished. I have been in this country for 5 years and when I arrived I was struck at how poor and uneducated most blacks are. I could never figure out why most had children out of wedlock, sold drugs, and were in jail. I suppose it is the slave metality from generations ago but at some point they will have to take responsibility. I think that is the reason Senator Obama appeals to so many whites because he isn't 100% black. He has a black face but the mentality of a white person. That makes the vote palatable and they can feel good about themselves. I doubt many of these white voters would go for an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson - just too black and they are for more representative of the black American - not Barack Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Is it too late to be born again & get all them religious kooks to vote for me?
Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 12:16 PM

It's never too late. Romney is going to be Born Again in 2012 between when the Mormons contribute to his campaign and when the Republican primaries are held.

Posted by: Aleks | July 28, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Consider that people in The West are exposed to vast beauty of an incredible scale where "God" is manifest in the absence of organized human activity and human-centric belief systems. Add to that, the escape from the narrow confines and social constraints imposed on people living in "traditional" environments. Yes, Westerners are highly spiritual. No, they don't believe in narrowly defined, traditional, self-righteous, socially conforming concepts of "God". The imposition of a 'foreign' belief system from thousands of years ago on the modern American West is patently absurd.

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 28, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

With all the righteousness expressed by high visibility Christian leaders, it seems to me the followers and others are clueless about who they are as human beings inhabiting the Planet Earth. Everyone seems so caught up in the blurred minutia of pulpit and conservative media chatter thinking powers have been surrendered. Hence, droves of people continue to vote against their own better interests. Wake-up America and reclaim your inherent wisdom.

Posted by: Lou R | July 28, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Mccain does not believe in anything, that goes all the way back to his school days and is not any kind of secret.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Is it too late to be born again & get all them religious kooks to vote for me?

Posted by: McCainiac | July 28, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"But, what if Obama's overt talk of his faith turns off voters in the West where Democrats seem to be ascendant?"

This comment implies an incorrect correlation between people who don't attend church frequently & a candidate's professed faith. As they say, don't mistake correlation with causality.

Posted by: bsimon | July 28, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

chris - are you saying that the voters will not worship me?

Posted by: obamassiah | July 28, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if The Fix can provide a link to the data? I'm wondering if California is included - and if California skews the results.

Posted by: bsimon | July 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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