The Common Good

New Ohio Post-Election Poll Demonstrates Political Diversity of Evangelical Voters

Source: Sojourners
Date: March 7, 2008

Media Advisory

March 7, 2008

Contact: Jason Gedeik, 202.745.4633 or media@sojo.net

TELECONFERENCE MONDAY

New Ohio Post-Election Poll Demonstrates Political Diversity of Evangelical Voters

Jim Wallis and Ohio Pastors, Rich Nathan and Mike Slaughter, discuss the New Evangelical Agenda

Washington, D.C. ----Exit polls sponsored by the major networks, CNN, Fox, and the Associated Press, which provide the basis for election analysis, continue to only asked one party's primary voters whether they considered themselves "born-again or evangelical Christian.” Sojourners joined the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Faith and Public Life in conducting a post-election poll in Ohio to demonstrate that self-described evangelicals are not an ideologically monolithic voting bloc, and are more diverse in their views than the media assumes.

WHEN: Monday, March 10, 2008 at 11:00 AM EDT

WHERE: By telephone 1-866-682-6100, ID: Evangelical Poll

WHO:

Rev. Jim Wallis, author of The Great Awakening and President, Sojourners

Rev. Rich Nathan, Pastor of Vineyard Church of Columbus, the second largest church in Ohio

Rev. Mike Slaughter, Pastor of the 4,000-member Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio

Shaun Casey, Visiting Fellow, Center for American Progress and Professor of Christian Ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary

Dr. Robert P. Jones, expert and consultant on religion and politics

The poll had a sample of 400 Republican voters and 400 Democratic voters with an oversample of 200 Democratic and 200 Republican white evangelical voters. Conducted for Faith in Public Life, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Sojourners by Zogby International on March 3-4, the poll found:

· Forty-three percent of all white evangelical Ohio primary voters participated in the Democratic primary and 57 percent participated in the Republican primary. While exit polls identified these 395,000 Republican white evangelical voters, they failed to identify 300,000 white evangelical Democratic voters. (MOE +/-5.0 points)

· A majority of white evangelical Ohio voters support a broader agenda that goes beyond abortion and same-sex marriage to include ending poverty, protecting the environment, and tackling HIV/AIDS (54%), rather than sticking to the more limited agenda of opposing abortion and same-sex marriage (39%). (MOE +/-5.0 points)

· Three times as many white evangelical voters ranked jobs and economy as the most important issue area in deciding how to vote (42%) as those who ranked abortion and same-sex marriage most important (14%). (MOE +/-5.0 points)

In failing to ask both Republicans and Democrats if they are evangelicals, the media pollsters reinforce the false and outdated stereotype that evangelicals are only concerned with one set of issues and ignore the increasing ideological diversity of the evangelical movement. It's time for the media to update their script and provide balanced coverage of the role of religion in public life.

Sojourners is a Christian ministry whose mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit http://www.sojo.net/greatawakening. ###