Let's start with this simple statement: Evangelicals LOVE Israel! Not even close. If President Obama goes too far and is seen as somewhat antagonistic towards Israel (read: settlements) he's going to hurt himselves with Evangelical Christians. His record on abortion isn't helping but if he messes around with Israel and tries to divide Jerusalem he is playing with Evangelical fire. (would that then be considered Armegeddon??...just a little Christian humor....yes we have a sense of humor....don't start)
Why should Mr. Obama care about what Evangelical Christians think? Well, look at it this way. If President Obama stays rock solid in his support for Israel and doesn't demand an end to settlements or talk about dividing Jerusalem, he could actually build additional support among on the fence Evangelicals. He's looking to be a President who brings people together right? He's looking for additional support from Evangelicals on an abortion reduction initiative right? Well, strong support for Israel would help him. This is a very emotional issue for Evangelical Christians.
Hey, also let me say one other thing. Memo to Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin? Israel and Evangelicals are a winning ticket. It's not JUST abortion and social issues.
Oh, by the way, if any of you three are reading this, please go out and buy this t-shirt right away. It'll help.
By the way, want proof that Evangelicals support Israel overwhelmingly? Read below from The Jerusalem Post:
More than 80 percent of American Christians say they have a "moral and biblical obligation" to support the State of Israel, and half say Jerusalem should remain its undivided capital, according to a survey released on Thursday.
While evangelical Christians are the strongest supporters of the Jewish state, strong pro-Israel convictions cut across all key Christian denominations in the US, according to the poll carried out on behalf of the Washington-based Joshua Fund, an evangelical organization.
Eight-two percent of respondents said they had a "moral and biblical obligation" to love and support Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem," 10% disagreed and 8% did not know.
Eighty-four percent of Protestants agreed with the statement (including 89% of Evangelicals), compared to 76% of Catholics.
Also, check this out from The Nation Magazine:
According to the poll, when asked if the United States should "get tough" with Israel in order to back up its call for an end to settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, fully 50 percent of Americans said yes, with just 19 percent saying "do nothing," and 32 percent not sure.
Even though Americans have a high opinion of Israel (by a 71-21 margin) and a low opinion of the Palestinians (by a 25-66 margin) in terms of favorability, overall -- not just in regard to settlements -- Americans say that it's "time for the United States to get tough with Israel" by a surprising 45-44 margin.
Hiding in those numbers, however, is an overwhelming partisan gap, and that is the really striking thing about the Zogby poll. From my notes:
Asked whether the interests of Israel and the US are identical, only 28 percent of Obama voters agreed, while 59 percent disagreed. Among McCain voters, it was the reverse: 78 percent of McCain voters said US and Israel interests were identical and 15 percent said they are not.
Asked about Netanyahu, the favorability rating for Obama voters was 29-49 percent, while the rating for McCain voters was a lopsided 82-9 percent.
And on the crucial question, is it time to get tough with Israel, the gap was a veritable Grand Canyon. Among Obama voters, 71 percent agreed and 18 percent disagreed. Among McCain voters, 16 percent agreed and 73 percent disagreed.