The American Values Survey August 9 -23, 2006 2,502 American Adults African American and Hispanic Over Samples Margin of Error: +-1.95% Conducted by Braun Research, Inc. www.centerforamericanvalues.org
Religion, Values, and the 2006 Election
Despite assertions that Democrats are out of touch with people of faith, in 2006 a majority of religious voters are clearly in play. There are a significant number of religious voters who have abandoned the GOP but who have not embraced Democratic candidates.
Most Americans are Religious Centrists.
When “voting their values,” more people think about the honesty, integrity, and responsibility of the candidate than any other values.
Democrats enjoy a 17-point lead among likely voters in 2006 and are winning every religious attendance group with the exception of those who attend more than once a week, where Republicans have a slight 3-point lead.
Source: American Values Survey, Center for American Values in Public Life (August 2006).
Religion, Values, and the 2006 Election
Abortion and same-sex marriage rank last in importance to the vast majority of Americans in determining their vote.
At least three-quarters of respondents from every major religious tradition say that issues like poverty and health care are generally more important than these controversial social issues.
Communications and Messaging:
More than 8 in 10 Americans support a broader religious discourse away from narrow hot-button issues and toward more important themes like concern for others and caring for the poor.
Fairness and nondiscrimination are effective frames for talking about gay rights with African Americans.
Support for same-sex marriage increases when assurances are offered that no congregation would be required to perform marriages for same-sex couples.
Support for environmental regulations increases for many religious groups when framed as “caring for God’s creation.”
Source: American Values Survey, Center for American Values in Public Life (August 2006).
Centrists Dominate the Religious Landscape Note: The religious orientation scale was based on a composite religiosity factor that utilized three basic types of religious measures: belief, practice and salience.
Attend religious services weekly or more
Believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible
Believe God exists without any doubts
Report that religion is a very important or the most important thing in their lives
Religious Centrists :
Attend religious services weekly or a few times a month
Pray frequently but not necessarily daily
Believe that Bible is inspired but not literal word of God
Believe God exists, but may have doubts
Report that religion is very important part of their lives
Religious Modernists :
Attend religious services once in a while or infrequently
Pray occasionally or infrequently
Believe that Bible is inspired but not literal word of God or an ancient book of myths and legends
Believe God exists but have doubts or are uncertain God exists
Report that religion is fairly important to their lives
Religious Orientations: Traditionalists, Centrists, and Modernists
Q.22: Moral values can mean different things to different people. What comes to mind when you think about voting your values ? The Meaning of ‘Voting Your Values’ 3% The honesty, integrity, and responsibility of the candidate Protecting personal freedoms and individual choices Eliminating poverty and guaranteeing access to health care Keeping marriage between a man and a woman Working to restrict access to abortion Honesty & Integrity Freedoms & Choices Poverty & Health Care Traditional Marriage Abortion 23% 39% 21% 9%
The Meaning of ‘Voting Your Values’ Q.22: Moral values can mean different things to different people. What comes to mind when you think about voting your values ?
29% 18% 23% 30% 42% 41% 38% 35% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Religious Traditionalists (22%) Religious Centrists (50%) Religious Modernists (18%) Secular (10%) The honesty, integrity, and responsibility of the candidate Keeping marriage between a man and a woman Eliminating poverty and guaranteeing access to health care Protecting personal freedoms and individual choices Meaning of “Voting your Values”: Top Two Choices By Religious Orientation Q.22: Moral values can mean different things to different people. What comes to mind when you think about voting your values ?
Q.14: Thinking about the upcoming elections this year, which ONE of the following issue areas would be MOST important to you in deciding how to vote for a candidate for Congress? Abortion and Gay Marriage are the Least Important Issues in Deciding 2006 Vote
Too many leaders use religion to talk about abortion and gay rights, but don’t talk about more important things like loving your neighbor and caring for the poor. Q.15 & Q.16c Which of these kinds of issues are more important in the United States today: issues like poverty and affordable health care OR issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Strong Support for Broader Religious Discourse and Economic Issue Priorities
Fairness & Nondiscrimination Frame for Gay Rights by Race Q.8d: (Split A: Generally speaking ) (Split B: It’s only fair that ) gays and lesbians in long-term committed relationships should be able to have the same rights as married couples in areas of hospital visitation, health insurance, and pension coverage. ( Split B: Discrimination is always wrong ).
Q.10: If the law guaranteed that no church or congregation would be required to perform marriages for same-sex couples, I would support allowing gay couples to legally marry. Increased Support for Same-sex Marriage with Religious Liberty Assurance – All Americans 28% 32% 36% 40% 23% 33% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Marry Civil Unions No recognition Original Support Support for Marriage with Religious Liberty Assurance
Increased Support for Same-sex Marriage with Religious Liberty Assurance – African Americans Q.10: If the law guaranteed that no church or congregation would be required to perform marriages for same-sex couples, I would support allowing gay couples to legally marry. 24% 29% 40% 35% 23% 35% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Marry Civil Unions No recognition Original Support Support for Marriage with Religious Liberty Assurance
Increased Support for Same-sex Marriage with Religious Liberty Assurance – Hispanics Q.10: If the law guaranteed that no church or congregation would be required to perform marriages for same-sex couples, I would support allowing gay couples to legally marry. 35% 26% 33% 51% 12% 31% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Marry Civil Unions No recognition Original Support Support for Marriage with Religious Liberty Assurance
Support for Environmental Regulations and ‘Creation Care’ Q.8c. (Split A) Stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost. (Split B) We have a moral obligation to care for God’s creation by supporting stricter environmental laws and regulations, even if it means some economic costs. 62 70 71 75 76 80 82 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Evangelicals Mainline Protestants Black Protestants^ Hispanic Protestants^* Catholics Hispanic Catholics^ Secular Environmental Regulations Worth the Cost Obligation to Care for God's Creation 66 74 78 82 72 80 72
Swing Voters, Centrists, and Evangelicals 64% 83% 60% 74% 67% 83% 62% 74% 57% 78% 48% 62% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% The U.S. government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes. (65%) Congress should approve an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. (83%) Good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace (61%) Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the economic costs. (71%) Swing Voter Religious Centrists Evangelical Q. 5d, 8a, 8b, 8c.
Perceptions of Democratic Party Friendliness to Religion by Prospective Vote 2006 Q.20a. Do you feel that Democratic Party is generally friendly toward religion, neutral toward religion, or unfriendly toward religion? 72% 57% 8% 16% 29% 77% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Democrats Friendly (31%) Democrats Neutral (43%) Democrats Unfriendly (16%) Vote/Lean Democrat Vote/Lean Republican
Q.20b. Do you feel that Republican Party is generally friendly toward religion, neutral toward religion, or unfriendly toward religion? Perceptions of Republican Party Friendliness to Religion by Prospective Vote 2006 44% 50% 84% 43% 32% 9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Republicans Friendly (52%) Republicans Neutral (25%) Republicans Unfriendly (13%) Vote/Lean Democrat Vote/Lean Republican
2004 and 2006 Vote by Religious Affiliation and Orientation Q.51: Reported 2004 vote, Q. 53: 2006 vote among likely voters. Vote by Religious Affiliation and Orientation 2004 Presidential Vote 2006 Midterm Vote (Likely Voters) Bush Vote % Kerry Vote % Republican Vote/Lean % Democrat Vote/Lean % Evangelicals (25%) 67 25 52 31 Mainline Protestants (15%) 50 43 37 50 Hispanic Protestants (3%)^* 52 36 30 47 Black Protestants (10%)^ 13 80 10 82 Catholics (18%) 47 47 34 51 Hispanic Catholics (8%)^ 37 54 25 65 Jews (1%)* 30 47 25 60 Religious Traditionalists (22%) 58 35 44 38 Religious Centrists (50%) 48 45 35 51 Religious Modernists (18%) 36 54 26 59 Secular (10%) 29 50 16 68 Total 47 45 34 51
Source: 2004 National Election Pool Exit Poll. 2004 Vote by Religious Attendance 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% More than once a week Once a week Few times a month A few times a year Never Bush Vote Kerry Vote 37% 45% 51% 59% 65% 63% 55% 35% 41% 49%
Q.53. If the election for U.S. Congress were held today, would you be voting for the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate in your district where you live? 2006 Projected Vote by Religious Attendance
No Other/ Rep Dem Ind Pref DK N Total 26 32 32 5 5=100 3,002 All Protestants 32 31 29 5 3=100 1,696 White Evangelical 44 22 25 6 3=100 743 White Mainline 31 29 35 4 1=100 640 Black 6 62 25 3 4=100 197 All Catholics 24 34 33 6 3=100 644 White Non-Hisp. 28 31 34 5 2=100 503 Unaffiliated 12 34 44 3 7=100 373 Source: Pew Research Center Survey, Aug. 2007 Party Affiliation by Religious Attendance
No Other/ Rep Dem Ind Pref DK N Total 26 32 32 5 5=100 3,002 More than once a week 40 27 23 7 3=100 433 Once a week 32 32 27 4 5=100 857 Once or twice a month 26 32 33 5 4=100 460 A few times a year 21 35 35 5 4=100 494 Seldom 20 35 36 6 3=100 465 Never 15 32 44 3 6=100 253 Source: Pew Research Center Survey, Aug. 2007 Party Affiliation by Religious Attendance
Favorable Unfavorable N % % Total 42 58 1,166 All Protestants 45 55 627 White Evangelical 48 52 256 White Mainline 48 52 261 All Catholics 39 61 253 White Non-Hisp. 45 55 194 Unaffiliated 32 68 182 Based on those who could rate Source: Pew Research Center Survey, January 2008 Favorable Opinions of the Republican Candidate Mitt Romney
Favorable Unfavorable N % % Total 64 36 1,333 All Protestants 65 35 723 White Evangelical 68 32 289 White Mainline 72 28 301 All Catholics 61 39 285 White Non-Hisp. 70 30 220 Unaffiliated 67 33 209 Based on those who could rate Source: Pew Research Center Survey, January 2008 Favorable Opinions of the Republican Candidate John McCain
Favorable Unfavorable N % % Total 49 51 1,115 All Protestants 56 44 609 White Evangelical 65 35 251 White Mainline 52 48 254 All Catholics 51 49 239 White Non-Hisp. 51 49 186 Unaffiliated 33 67 173 Based on those who could rate Source: Pew Research Center Survey, January 2008 Favorable Opinions of the Republican Candidate Mike Huckabee
Favorable Unfavorable N % % Total 54 46 1,454 All Protestants 51 49 806 White Evangelical 37 63 322 White Mainline 49 51 329 Black 83 17 112 All Catholics 54 46 308 White Non-Hisp. 52 48 238 Unaffiliated 62 38 220 Based on those who could rate Source: Pew Research Center Survey, January 2008 Favorable Opinions of the Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton
Favorable Unfavorable N % % Total 63 37 1,364 All Protestants 60 40 756 White Evangelical 39 61 297 White Mainline 66 34 310 Black 86 14 107 All Catholics 66 34 284 White Non-Hisp. 63 37 217 Unaffiliated 68 32 208 Based on those who could rate Source: Pew Research Center Survey, January 2008 Favorable Opinions of the Democratic Candidate Barack Obama
"Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom.”
“ I believe that our founders had faith in reason and they also had faith in God, and one of our gifts from God is the ability to reason.” “I am grateful that I have the ability to look at dinosaur bones and draw my own conclusions.”
“ We're going to leave it to the Joshua generation to make sure it happens. The previous generation, the Moses generation, pointed the way. They took us 90% of the way there. We still got that 10% in order to cross over to the other side.”
"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."
“ You can think about every bit of progress you try to make, there’s always going to be somebody to say, ‘You know I think we should go back to Egypt. We can’t transform bad housing, we can’t do it, we can’t afford it, we don’t know how to do it. Do we really want those people in our church? Are we supposed to be parenting these children, where are their parents? Do we want to get in the business of educating after school, pre-school?’ . . . .
“ We need prophetic voices to say, yes we do, yes we do.”
Q: A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think? A: I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.
"All I can say is that maybe I should have kept my comments to the fact that I'm a practicing Christian, I respect all religions and beliefs, and that I support the principles, the values of the Founding Fathers. Perhaps I should have couched my remarks to that rather than getting into, as I say, a Talmudic discussion.”
FOR CANDIDATES Thou shalt offer an explanation to the electorate about how your religious beliefs shape or alter your views on the issues– but never justify policy only on religious beliefs
FOR CANDIDATES Thou shalt discuss your views on policy and legal issues that directly affect religion
FOR CANDIDATES Thou shalt feel free to use religious language to explain how your beliefs or practices would affect your ability to perform as President (or in any other office)
FOR CANDIDATES Thou shalt feel free to discuss the role religion plays in shaping your values and character
FOR CANDIDATES Thou shalt minimize the use of divisive and exclusive religious language
FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS AND PARTIES Thou shalt not seek to organize partisan supporters in houses of worship, but should respect the sacred spaces of church communities
FOR RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND LEADERS Thou shalt not use religious authority, threats, or discipline to coerce the political decisions of American citizens
FOR RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND LEADERS Thou shalt not endorse or oppose candidates
FOR VOTERS Thou shalt not base your votes on a candidate’s religious beliefs or practices
FOR EVERYONE Thou shalt never, explicitly or implicitly, suggest that there is a religious test for holding office
Huckabee- Christian Leader Ad
Huckabee – Christmas Ad
Huckabee – God and the Constitution
Harold Ford, Jr.- Campaign Ad
Romney- “Faith in America” Address
Obama- Faith, Values and Poverty Forum
“ The Constitution explicitly forbids the requiring of any religious test as a qualification for holding office. To impose such a test by popular vote is as bad as to impose it by law. To vote either for or against a man because of his creed is to impose upon him a religious test and is a clear violation of the spirit of the Constitution.” --President Teddy Roosevelt, October 12 th 1915, addressing the Knights of Columbus in New York