In an interview with God-o-Meter on the day after his Saddleback Civil Forum with John McCain and Barack Obama, Rev. Rick Warren sounded pretty dubious about Barack Obama's and the Democrats' chances of making inroads among evangelicals. The full interview will run Monday on Beliefnet. Here's a preview:
Before last night, McCain had been widely criticized by Christian activists for keeping mum about his faith and about values issues like abortion and marriage Last night seemed to change that. How much headway did McCain make among skeptical evangelicals?
I'm a pastor, I'm not a prophet, so I would not predict how evangelicals are going to vote. I will tell you they're not monolith. That's a big myth. They're going to make up their minds based on the hierarchy of their values. For many evangelicals, of course, if they believe that life begins at conception, that's a deal breaker for a lot of people. If they think that life begins at conception, then that means that there are 40 million Americans who are not here [because they were aborted] that could have voted. They would call that a holocaust and for them it would like if I'm Jewish and a Holocaust denier is running for office. I don't care how right he is on everything else, it's a deal breaker for me. I'm not going to vote for a Holocaust denier...
It all depends on the hierarchy of their worldview of what matters most to them. My gut reaction when it was over was that Obama will pick up probably some younger votes and McCain will probably pick up some older votes and it might come down to which group winds up showing up that the polls.