Let me just get straight to the point with you when it comes to the conservative white Evangelical vote in 2008. Overall, Obama did a little bit better than John Kerry in 2004. McCain did a little worse than George Bush in 2004.
Read all about it here and here, including how both candidates did with other religious groups.
This is what The Brody File had been saying throughout. I never thought Obama was going to have a huge breakthrough with white Evangelicals. Instead, I thought he would be able to slightly increase his take of Evangelical voters compared to Kerry in 2004. He did.
As for McCain, The Brody File figured he would do well after the Palin pick and he indeed he was in the mid 70's or so in terms of support. Bush was slightly higher in 2004. Imagine what McCain's numbers would have been without Palin.
More analysis in the coming days but let me leave you with this thought. Obama has a unique opportunity to appeal to religious conservatives IF he plays up and delivers on his responsible fatherhood talk and continues to shape policy that is perceived as family friendly in conservative households.
If Obama takes the time to get on his presidential soap box and invest some time and energy in these areas, he could boost his standing. Nobody is saying he;s going to be Mr. Popular with Evangelicals but as a father of two young girls there's no reason he can't begin to go down this road.
He talked more about his faith than any other previous Democrat. (even Jimmy Carter) He talked about responsible fatherhood. He talked about parents shutting off the TV. He talked about the need to reduce abortions in this country. Evangelicals want to see the walk now, not just the talk.