Obama’s failure to win among church-going Americans continues a pattern that was also seen in the 2000 and 2004 elections, when Republican George Bush won the presidency.
On Tuesday, Obama defeated McCain in the nationwide popular vote, 52% to 46%.
Among voters who told the exit poll that they attend church once a week, however, McCain defeated Obama, 55% to 43%. McCain also defeated Obama 55% to 43% among voters who said they attended church more than once a week.
Obama ran strongest among voters who told the exit poll they “never” attend church. These voters picked the Democratic candidate over the Republican, 67% to 30%. Among those who said they attend church “a few times a year,” Obama won 59% to 40%; and among those who said they attend church monthly, Obama won 53% to 46%.
In 2004, the overall Catholic vote went for George W. Bush over John Kerry, 52% to 47%. Yesterday, it went for Obama over McCain, 54% to 45%. However, among Catholics who said they went to church every week, McCain edged Obama, 50% to 49%.
Protestants supported McCain. He defeated Obama, 54% to 45%, in overall Protestant vote, and 66% to 32% among Protestants who said they attend church weekly.
Eleven percent of voters told the exit poll they have no religion. These voters supported Obama, 75% to 23%.
In 2004, Bush defeated Kerry among voters who said they attend church weekly, 58% to 41%. Bush also defeated Kerry, 64% to 35%, among voters who said they attended church more than once a week. In 2000, Bush defeated Vice President Al Gore, 57% to 40%, among voters who said they attended church weekly, and 63% to 36% among voters who said they attended church more than once a week.
In 2000, 9% of voter told the exit poll they have no religion, and these voters supported Gore over Bush, 61% to 30%.