A few days ago, CBS News released a poll on the issues important to born-again Christian voters. The picture is looking a bit rosier for Dems to peel them away from the Repubs, but there may still be some work to do.
The poll was featured on Thursday's CBS Evening News, and showed that the most important issues for born-again Christians are health care (23%) and Iraq (20%). They also feel that the Democrats, not the Republicans, are talking about their issues. Katie Couric also interviewed Jim Wallis of Sojourners, who was quick to point out that Darfur, global warming and human trafficking are also well ahead of abortion and gay rights among Christian voters.
Needless to say, as a born-again Christian Dem who realized long ago that the Republicans were selling us a bill of goods, this had me psyched big-time. However, a look at the poll's internals shows that there's still a lot of work ahead.
The good news ... only 3 percent of born-agains want to hear about abortion, and exactly zero want to hear about gay rights. And 24% think the Dems are talking about their issues, compared to only 10% who think the Repubs are. Born-agains also think they should be more involved in poverty issues rather than abortion (33% to 20%). In other words--born-agains are becoming more focused on issues that have been in our ballpark for eons.
However, only 29% of born-agains are willing to vote for a candidate who doesn't share their views on social issues, and 42% think a candidate's views on social issues are very important to deciding their vote. That's still far less than conventional wisdom would suggest.
The Shrub still has the support of 53% of born-agains ... disheartening at first, until you consider that 78% of born-agains voted for him in '04 and his approval ratings among born-agains were still in the 60s for much of 2006.
The most disappointing news is that 62% still think going to Iraq was the right thing to do.
Bottom line? There's an opening for Dems among born-agains ... if they can seize it.