- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Conservative Christian voters helped turn the tide of the midterm elections and will do so again in 2016, according to a survey by the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

Coalition founder Ralph Reed on Wednesday announced the results of an Election Day survey showing that white evangelicals made up nearly a quarter of voters, and evangelicals and conservative Christians largely supported Republican candidates.

“For Democrats, they’ve been able to get away with ignoring this vote with Barack Obama because he overperformed among minorities and young voters,” Mr. Reed said. “If you take that out and it doesn’t happen in 2016 for a different Democratic candidate, it’s a serious problem.”

The survey was a joint effort of the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Public Opinion Strategies. The survey was conducted by phone Tuesday and surveyed 800 voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.46 percentage points.

Among the data collected, overall voters as well as evangelicals were fairly matched on issues of importance. The economy/jobs was the issue of highest priority when voting for congressional candidates, at 23 percent for overall voters and 21 percent for evangelicals. Both groups were equally concerned about education at 10 percent. Immigration ranked at 9 percent for evangelicals and 8 percent for overall voters.



“Evangelicals really vote on the same issues the American people do,” Mr. Reed said. “Evangelicals don’t live in trailer parks or shop only at Walmart and vote on abortion and same-sex marriage. They are thoroughly integrated in the cultural, economic … fabric of society. They care about the economy and jobs and good schools and good transportation, just like everyone else.”

The survey also found that Protestants and Catholics backed GOP candidates over Democratic candidates by double-digit percentages.

Mr. Reed said the survey results show that anyone who is taking the 2016 election seriously needs to include the faith-based vote in their plans.

“I’m a big believer that if your name is on the ballot, you need to run on the issues voters care about - the economy, jobs, spending and healthcare,” Mr. Reed said.

But when questions on moral and social issues inevitably come up, “you better be able to plant your feet, look right into the camera, and be able to explain from the heart, with total clarity, why you believe what you believe.”

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