Mitt Romney has faced an uphill climb to claim the support of Christian evangelical voters, although he still garners far more support from this group than does President Obama. A recent poll demonstrates the struggle:
Even before he announced his support for same-sex marriage, President Obama was badly trailing Republican Mitt Romney among evangelical Christians, the group most committed to traditional forms of marriage, according to a new poll about the attitudes of religious voters.
Romney led Obama by 68% to 19% among evangelicals in the poll released Thursday by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service. The nationwide poll was conducted over four days ending Sunday, well before Obama's remarks about same-sex marriage. (And no questions were asked on that topic.)
The good news for the Obama campaign is that Romney doesn't have as much support yet among evangelicals as Republican John McCain did in the 2008 election, when exit polls showed that he had captured 73% of the evangelical vote. George W. Bush did even better in 2004, when he claimed 79% of evangelicals.
If Obama wanted to take one step to solidify evangelicals' vote behind Romney, however, it was to publicly endorse same-sex marriage. Much ado is being made about how Obama's evolution (more appropriately, his switcheroo) will excite his base. Well, for every action there is an opposite reaction. Obama will earn very few evangelical votes this year. That will carry weight because Obama snagged 26 percent of the evangelical vote in 2008.
It's fascinating to watch how Democrats — who have overseen a disastrous economy during the last three and a half years — are suddenly so interested in so-called "wedge" issues such as marriage and forced buying of contraception. How convenient.