Jewish Journal

Barack Obama’s awesome, blue God

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 5, 2008 | 8:14 pm

There was a lot of talk during the past 20 months about Democrats closing the “God Gap” and Barack Obama’s efforts to reach out to evangelicals. It seems to have worked.

Over at the Christianity Today politics blog, Steve Waldman shows how Obama proved to be, at least for a Democrat, a religious rockstar. Obama narrowed the God Gap by bringing Catholics back, winning over some evangelicals and mainline Protestants and making huge strides among the religious-but-not-too-religious.

Here’s how Waldman says he did it:

“We worship an awesome God in the blue states,” Barack Obama declared during his 2004 Democratic convention keynote. Thunderous applause greeted that line, in part because Democrats felt frustrated that they’d been unfairly cast as a secular or even anti-religion party, and by the political dominance of religious conservatives.

Tonight, Obama forged a New Democratic Faith Coalition (click here for detail). To a large degree, he was able to make such progress with these groups because of the economy. Some pro-life voters went with Obama in spite of his positions on ‘values issues,’ not because of them.

But Obama nonetheless helped ease their way to his side through a canny set of tactics and strategies unlike anything we’ve seen from Democrats in years.

For more about how the religious voted, check out the analysis of exit polls by Faith in Public Life.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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