Democrats see opening among religious voters in 2012 election
Shouldn’t churches help people in need first and worry about controlling their lives and social legislation later? Should extreme zealots and the fundamentalism from other parts of the world be hewing the path for Christianity in the US, or should US Christians show the world what tolerance and faith can do together?
Democrats claim to have an unprecedented, promising opportunity to expand their voter base into previously uncharted territory — religious voters.
Republicans have long walked in lock step with the loudest and most influential voices in the American religious sphere, professing a monopoly on the faith-based values that drive the decisions of millions of religious voters.
But eager to leave no stone unturned as they peruse the electorate for 2012 supporters, Democrats are setting out to court faith-based voters by connecting their policies on economic issues to the values of equality, tolerance and humanitarianism.
They’re backed up by evidence showing that social issues such as abortion, where Republicans perform better among religious Americans, are taking a back seat to concerns over unemployment and poverty.
“Democrats and independents are strongly supportive of government actions to reduce the gap between the rich and poor, and Republicans are fairly divided on the question. But there isn’t an accompanying divide in the religious community,” said Robert P. Jones, the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan group.