From the latest Barna Report: What Do Americans Think of Evangelical Voters?
In general, evangelical voters are perceived with a mix of skepticism and respect. Americans are not always sure what to make of evangelicals, but they believe the voting bloc has significant influence. Barna examined eight perceptions of evangelical voters. Four of the statements represented the most widely-held views:
- will have a significant influence effect on the election outcome (59% of American adults said this was either “very” or “somewhat accurate” regarding evangelical voters);
- will cause the political conversation to be more conservative (59%);
- will spend too much time complaining and not enough time solving problems (59%);
- will be misunderstood and unfairly described by news media (56%).
- Surprisingly, given the attention that moral issues have received in connection with evangelicals, only half of Americans (52%) felt that evangelical voters would focus primarily on homosexuality and abortion.
Roughly half said that evangelicals will minimize social justice issues (47%) and another 47% felt they believe that evangelicals will vote overwhelmingly Republican. Roughly two out of every five Americans (44%) believed evangelicals will not approach the election with an open mind.
For more on Evangelical perceptions of themselves and the perceptions of outsiders towards evangelicals (complete with table), common ground, and how they view the Rick Warren interviews, read: What Do Americans Think of Evangelical Voters?
Also: How Evangelicals Plan to Vote (11 Aug. 2008) – I wonder if the ground has shifted any in the intervening month?