RELIGION AND THE VOTE
Survey Shows Obama Leading Among Catholics
A group of progressive pollsters and activists Wednesday released a new survey about religion and the election that suggests the culture wars may be on the wane.
The poll, commissioned by the group Faith in Public Life and conducted by the firm Public Religion Research, concluded that attitudes about abortion, legal recognition of same-sex relationships and the size of government are changing among young people.
A majority of white evangelicals, ages 18 to 34, favor either same-sex marriage or civil unions, compared with a majority of older evangelicals who favor no legal recognition, the poll found. Six in 10 young Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with half of older Catholics. Young Catholics are more pro-government than any other faith group.
Younger evangelicals are less likely to identify as Republicans, or as "conservatives," though they are not signing up to vote for Barack Obama, the poll showed, mirroring other previous research on that subject.
"What we see is younger Americans, including younger Americans of faith -- they are not the culture war generation," said Robert P. Jones, president of Public Religion Research. "They are bridging the divides that have entrenched the older generation."
The poll also found that Obama leads among Catholic voters of all ages, 51 percent to 40 percent. In 2004, Democrat John F. Kerry (47 percent) lost this group to President Bush (52 percent).
However, white Catholics, who have voted with the winner in every presidential election since 1972, are split between McCain and Obama, according to Washington Post-ABC polling.
-- Michelle Boorstein
ARMS TO TAIWAN
Obama Praises Sale; McCain Says It Falls Short
Barack Obama yesterday welcomed the Bush administration's decision to sell $6 billion of military equipment to Taiwan. But unlike rival John McCain, he did not call for the administration to add submarines and F-16 aircraft to the deal.
"This package represents an important response to Taiwan's defense needs," Wendy Morigi, national security spokesperson for Obama, said in a statement.
Morigi added, "Senator Obama strongly supports the reduction of tensions between China and Taiwan, and commends China's President Hu Jintao and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou for their efforts in that regard."
On Tuesday, McCain said the White House did not go far enough when it said it would sell 330 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles and 30 AH-64D Block III Apache Longbow attack helicopters. "I urge the administration to reconsider this decision, in light of its previous commitment to provide submarines and America's previous sales of F-16s," McCain said.
-- Glenn Kessler