Obama and the Churchgoing

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In South Carolina, the more frequently Democratic primary voters said they went to church, the more they were likely to vote for Barack Obama. This represents something of a departure from New Hampshire, where he won both the most and the least frequent attenders. What I think it mostly means is that black church mobilization was working well for Obama in Palmettoland. It would be interesting to know if non-black voters (as the CNN table has it) skewed the same way when it came to church attendance, but the cross-tabs weren’t posted. I’m inclined to doubt it.
In an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post, meanwhile, Lisa Daughtry (the Pentecostal pastor who serves as chief of staff of the Democratic National Committee and CEO of the Democratic Party Convention) criticized the exit polling for not asking Democratic voters as much about religion as it has asked Republican voters. Indeed, the South Carolina exit poll did not ask for religious affiliation (as in New Hampshire and Nevada) or separate out evangelicals (only the GOP polling has done that). It could be argued that, given the disproportionate significance of race-based voting in SC, having more differentiated information on religion would have cast only minor additional light on the results. But that won’t be true for many of the Super Tuesday states. Here’s to hoping that the pollsters take Daughtry’s words to heart.