In 2012, Obama seizes control of the battlegrounds

Where the electoral votes are (2000 census)

As everyone who followed the 2000 Bush-Gore election knows, American presidents are chosen not by direct votes but by electoral college votes allocated to each US state.

Which means that national “horse race” polls don’t always tell us that much about the state of a campaign.  National polls generally show Barack Obama leading by fairly narrow margins, between 1 and 7 points.

So I’ve spent a few hours, poring over polls for big battleground states, the kind of “purple” territory that general defines presidential contests.

The takeaway?  So far at least Barack Obama holds a much more commanding position across the map than national polls suggest.

Going back as far as polls conducted in late February, Mitt Romney is running strong in Georgia, holding a 7-point lead over Obama.  He’s also dominating Arizona, leading by 11 points.

That’s crucial.  If those states were slipping away (as some have suggested they might) Romney’s path to victory would be problematic indeed.

But the latest polls still hold plenty of sour news for Romney.  A recent survey in Wisconsin has the President up 14 points over Romney.  In Virginia, Obama is up 17 points.  And in Ohio, Romney is losing to Obama by 12 points.

In Pennsylvania, Obama is up by 1 to 7 points, depending on the poll.  (I’ve used Romney as his match-up because Obama polls even better against Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.)

And in Forida and North Carolina, the Democrat is up by 3 points.

If Obama holds those leads, or even a significant number of them, he wins re-election handily.

Indeed, if the election occurred today and the polls proved exactly right, Obama would capture at least 327 electoral votes.That’s a whopping 57 more than he needs to snag a second term.

Even more difficult for Republicans is the fact that Obama could also put some additional western states in serious play, including Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Whoever the Republican nominee is, I think it’s fair to say that he will have a much narrower path to victory than the one Obama must walk.

The GOP standard bearer will have to flip at least two or three important states, pulling them back into the GOP camp.

That’s a tough thing to do in any election against an incumbent president.  If disarray persists in the Republican primary, opportunities for Romney (or the other GOP candidates) to reclaim the high ground will dwindle fast.

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62 Comments on “In 2012, Obama seizes control of the battlegrounds”

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  1. Paul says:

    Don’t you mean “seizing” control not “seizes”?

  2. Pete Klein says:

    Looking good. Let’s hope it stays that way because I would hate to have to move to Afghanistan to find more tolerant religious people than any of the current Republican candidates.

  3. OnewifeVetNewt says:

    Nice analysis, Brian.
    I have not seen anything like elsewhere, including NPR. Perhaps the lamestreamers don’t want to spoil the horserace story? Any chance of NPR picking it up, or is it too far out of your beat?

    Too bad it is not a contest I can feel excited about. To me it’s the Crazies and Corporations Party against the Corporations First (and, on a good day, a few crumbs for the People) Party. CF this article by Robert Kuttner on how big money is working to create a bipartisan Asian trade agreement that will be worse than NAFTA for workers, the environment, American manufacturing, and the other usual victims
    Better ruled by the corporations than than the crazies, I guess. At least they believe in science.

  4. mark wilson says:

    I’m thinking we need a better metaphor than “horse race” for presidential elections. For one thing, horse races tend to be a whole lot closer than elections. The Belmont Stakes, for instance, is 1.5 miles long and horses tend to win them by margins measured in “lengths.” At 8 feet, each “length” translates to a .1% margin of victory. In 1973, Secretariat won the most lopsided horse race in history by 31 lengths or roughly 3% margin. For another thing, horse races tend to be quick and thrilling (except maybe for the horses).
    Working in the metaphor’s favor, horse races tend to end up pretty much where they started after a sizable turn-over of money.

  5. mervel says:

    It will be very interesting to see what happens after the Republicans pick a candidate.

    Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania are all too close to call right now. What were the polls saying at this time in the election cycle in 2008? I think they had Hillary Clinton as the nominee and I think John McCain in the lead?

  6. mervel says:

    What would happen to the Republicans in presidential elections if they lost Texas? 34 electoral votes and a state that is at 40% Hispanic today, majority Hispanic by 2020, in 8 years.

    I mean Rick Perry got pounded by the others for saying it would be cruel to not let undocumented kids who had lived here their whole lives go to college in the US. That one issue could mean the demise of that Party.

  7. Kathy says:

    Tolerant religious people?

    People who cannot admit to the fact that the men who soberly conceptualized a new nation publicly sought God’s direction and blessing in prayer during their meetings should move to Afghanistan. Seems like they had no problem mixing their faith and religion in their meetings.

    I’m tired of hearing about the big bad religious Republicans who “threaten” your liberties. Moving our country toward socialism spits in the face of the heroes of American History.

  8. Walker says:

    Throwing the poor and downtrodden under the bus spits in the face of the Savior who Republicans claim to honor.

  9. Kathy says:

    It’s not the government’s job to care for the poor and downtrodden that live this way by choice and believe they are entitled. We’ve created a monster.

    “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

  10. TomL says:

    I don’t think this will help Romney in the battlegrounds: having the worst campaign spokesman ever.

    CNN HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?

    ERIC FEHRNSTROM (ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN): Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.

  11. Phil says:

    Citing poll results of Barry vs. Mitt before the Republican nominee has been chosen is about like choosing the winner of the NCAA Basketball Tournament before the finalists are determined. Even Barry was very cautious about his bracket choices and he loves basketball.

    If you want to view the presidential election of 2012 as an office pool, look at such poll numbers; you can take a poll on almost anything, as David Letterman has shown. If you want to take the election of 2012 seriously, look at what the president and the rivals in the Republican nomination contest have done and plan to do.

    Please, Brian, March Madness is for basketball, not wannabe political scientists.

  12. Walker says:

    “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

    And when the churches fail to provide adequate assistance to the working poor, and those who would work but can find no jobs, what then?

    (And by the way, the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians is in widespread dispute.)

  13. myown says:

    {It’s not the government’s job to care for the poor and downtrodden that live this way by choice and believe they are entitled. We’ve created a monster.
    “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10}

    Wow, I got to remember that cherry-picked Thessalonian truth the next time I start feeling sorry for those less fortunate than myself and just tell them their situation is completely their own fault. After all, isn’t that what Jesus would do?

    Afghanistan? How about Iraq or Iran?
    We’ve seen the wonderful results of state-sponsored religion in the Middle East. As a matter of fact, the early US colonies were a similar combination of religious tribes, constantly feuding. In the early days, before the States were united, States could establish and promote a specific religion. If you were of another religion or a non-believer you weren’t always welcome. And it sometimes got quite ugly between the religious factions. Many of the original American settlers were fleeing from religious persecution in their home countries and now were faced with the same issue in the colonies. The founders of our country clearly recognized the pitfalls of state-sponsored religion and therefore specifically prohibited it by the First Amendment – Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black stated “government must be neutral among religions and non-religion: it cannot promote, endorse, or fund religion or religious institutions.” At the same time, the First Amendment allows all religions to practice freely or even be a non-believer. There is no question the US government was and is a secular institution. The US is not and was never intended to be a theocracy. BTW, secular is not the same as socialism.

    Some more history:

  14. mervel says:

    Christians have played a huge role in our countries past and are playing a huge role now.

    I think the reason that self professed “liberals” have such a hard time connecting with lower middle class and middle class working people is that they are sometimes dismissive of all faith. The US government should indeed be neutral among faiths. But the constitution also protects the rights of speech for all people wishing to make their voices and issues known to our public officials, including Christians.

    But let me say as someone who works in the world of Christian Charity, it’s not enough, Church sponsored charity is a small part of filling the gap, but will never be nearly enough to really put in place an adequate safety net for the most vulnerable among us. Christian Charities are the largest private providers of services to the poor, but it pales in comparison to what is needed through such programs as section 8 housing, food stamps and TANF, medicaid, HEAP etc. Frankly we should increase our programs to help the poor, they are not that expensive they are not what is causing our budget problems. But the idea that private charity could pick up the gap if government quite providing a social safety net is a fantasy.

  15. Walker says:

    Mervel, thank you for your recognition that governmental help is needed for the poor.

    But your “self professed ‘liberals’ have … a hard time connecting with lower middle class and middle class working people [because] they are sometimes dismissive of all faith” is another matter. I think a lot of the problem liberals have connecting with working people is the direct result of divisive “conservative” campaigns, starting with Reagan’s “welfare queen.”

    And Reagan had his own difficulties connecting with normal folk, like his famous astonishment at the checkout scanner that he’d never seen long after people who have to buy their own groceries had become familiar with it. And then there’s Romney…

  16. Kathy says:


    Who is advocating for a state sponsored religion?

    And are those who are so adamant about any form of religion being expressed in or even near government venues, heroes for preserving the separation of church and state, because of the good of the country? Or is it really hitting a personal nerve? How is it that a manger scene at the local government building makes the national news?

    Christianity is offensive to non-believers. Jesus said it would be. Until 9-11, Islam wasn’t offensive. Neither are all the other world religions. Ever wonder why?

    Jefferson’s separation of church and state was so the government wouldn’t get involved in the church; not the other way around. Hugo’s quote supports this. It is documented that the Founders included prayer in their meetings. There are several quotes from Washington, Lincoln, and others who publicly addressed God’s guidance. Isn’t this worth looking into?

  17. Kathy says:


    2 Thessalonians is in widespread dispute? Interesting how easy it is these days for people to throw a truth out that they don’t like.

    Capt. John Smith of the Jamestown colony made the “gentlemen” who did not work grow up real fast by telling them they would have to work or they wouldn’t eat. Our whole world operates on this premise so please, don’t insult our intelligence!

    No one is saying the government should not help anyone. I’m talking about lazy people that are taking advantage of the system.

    Do the math. Money cannot continually be given away. It’s like trying to rescue a drowning man who is fighting you. You’re both going to go down.

    I agree that the Church should be doing more. I think Christians should shine in helping people and giving them hope. There’s plenty of blame to go around here and I’ve been on a mission trying to change it.

  18. mervel says:

    Most people getting “welfare” are working. Two people in the North country making between 7-12 dollars an hour who have children; need food stamps, its no big deal, that is who I want to see getting help. For me also as someone who is pro-life, I really feel that part of preventing abortion is creating an environment where you are not financially punished for having children, where children are welcomed and supported by the whole community, even if they are born into a poor family, that is not the case in the US today. Generous food stamp benefits are pro-life.

    The largest government assistance programs are not even focused on the poor, those are Social Security and Medicare.

    But the fact is as Christ pointed out; the poor are always going to be with us; and money will indeed continue to be given away to help them, and I don’t think that is a bad thing.

    Kathy I do agree with you though that there needs to be consequences for actions it only hurts the person and the family if we don’t challenge people to work, indeed sometimes people are better off not getting assistance. I also agree with you that there is nothing wrong with expressing our faith in the public square.

  19. Walker says:

    Kathy, it can’t have escaped your notice that there is a job shortage in this country. Those who have lost jobs have already lost their houses in record numbers. You think they should be allowed to starve, too?

    “Do the math. Money cannot continually be given away.”

    And the other major news story of the last few years is the incredible concentration of wealth in the hands of the richest one percent, largely due to Republicans cutting tax rates on the wealthy. Tax rates on the rich are a fraction of those of the Eisenhower years. The reason it seems like we’re running out of money is that we’ve stopped collecting it from those able to pay. That includes corporations, that are presently sitting on vast hoards of cash.

    And speaking of Eisenhower, have you looked at military spending as a fraction of GDP lately? It just gets higher and higher, dwarfing what we spend on welfare.

    As to Capt. John Smith of the Jamestown colony making sure that those did not work go hungry, you pick an interesting example: “Despite the early leadership of explorer Captain John Smith, most of the colonists and their replacements died within the first five years. Two-thirds of the settlers died before arriving ships brought supplies and experts from Poland and Germany in the next year, 1608…” (Wikipedia)

    [As to the truth of Thessalonians, I am not a biblical scholar, I’m just telling you what I read here. I’m not dismissing it, I’m just not all that confident that it is what Jesus said.]

  20. mervel says:

    I think the statement would be attributed to St. Paul, not Christ. The question would be the actual authorship of the letter itself did St. Paul really write the letter? Although for me and I would bet Kathy, it is not really that important spiritually who wrote the letter, as it is in the Christian Cannon and we see it as the Word of God regardless of its human authorship.

    I think the issue is how to properly help people without encouraging long term dependency, which only hurts the individuals you are trying to help, it is called financial enabling.

    But regardless it does not really make any difference to the federal budget, which is sucked into the black holes of permanent war and health care.

  21. Kathy says:

    Walker, I would rather cite an article from here concerning the Jamestown colony if I may. I believe it has more credentials:

    While disease, famine, and continuing attacks of neighboring Algonquians took a tremendous toll on the population, there were times when the Powhatan Indian trade revived the colony with food in exchange for glass beads, copper, and iron implements. It appears that eventual structured leadership of Captain John Smith kept the colony from dissolving. The “Starving Time” winter followed Smith’s departure in 1609 during which only 60 of the original 214 settlers at Jamestown survived.

    The didn’t all starve to death because they didn’t work. I was pointing out that the leadership of Capt. John Smith is worthy of noting. Real leaders don’t always prevent bad things from happening, but know how to get you out of the bad things.

    Additionally, you may find this information noteworthy:

    I] appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God . . . to [ask] Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue. 25 GOVERNOR THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1779

  22. Kathy says:

    Again, government out of religion – not religion out of government. That is the separation of church and state.

  23. myown says:

    Kathy, there is a big difference between personally expressing your faith in public and wanting to impose laws to enforce your particular religious beliefs on others.

    As Mervel has pointed out, the functions of the wonderful charity organizations like his are insufficient to address the need. You seem to think there are significant numbers of lazy no-good slackers who are undeservedly receiving your tax dollars. As you say – let’s do the numbers – how many are there? What percentage of the federal budget goes to your group of ne’er-do-wells living on the government’s dime? I think you will find it extremely small. And grossly dwarfed by the swollen budgets for defense contractors and corporate subsidies.

    Do you think we should do away with the programs mentioned by Mervel, such as section 8 housing, food stamps, TANF, Medicaid and HEAP, that help working families?
    How about SS and Medicare? These are earned benefit programs that you and I pay into during our working years to receive a little economic security during our retirement years.

    Your righteous indignation that a few freeloaders may be gaming the system is misplaced. Charity and government safety nets are important for families to function and to give children an opportunity to break out of the poverty cycle.

    I am stunned by the selfish attitude of many Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers, etc. that seems to be in vogue. This me-first, the hell with other people, I don’t owe society anything arrogance is appalling.

  24. Kathy says:

    largely due to Republicans cutting tax rates on the wealthy. Tax rates on the rich are a fraction of those of the Eisenhower years. The reason it seems like we’re running out of money is that we’ve stopped collecting it from those able to pay. That includes corporations, that are presently sitting on vast hoards of cash.

    I agree with you, Walker, there should be a better taxation system (thank-you Paul Ryan). However, I’m hearing the whole rich give to the poor thing in your statement. Not that I don’t think the rich should pay their fair share. I just wonder how many “poor” shouldn’t be on the books. I think a huge percentage.

    Eliminating those who are draining the system (living with an entitlement mentality, abusing the food stamp program, etc.) would make a big difference. It’s not the only solution, but it is a huge one.

  25. myown says:

    “Not that I don’t think the rich should pay their fair share. I just wonder how many “poor” shouldn’t be on the books. I think a huge percentage.”

    Kathy, low-income people do pay taxes. In fact they pay the same taxes and rates as rich people do for sales tax, property tax, utility tax, etc. etc. Federal income tax is one of the few places where the poor get a break on taxes – precisely because their earned income is so low. And most retired folks, children, etc. obviously would not pay an income tax.

    “Eliminating those who are draining the system (living with an entitlement mentality, abusing the food stamp program, etc.) would make a big difference.”

    What’s this entitlement mentality, other than a phrase constantly used by regressive Republicans to imply there are millions of welfare queens out there? The truth is welfare was significantly changed by a Democrat President (Clinton). So again, what are the numbers? and how many people are abusing the food stamp program? Sure let’s try to stop anyone abusing those programs. But the cost pales to what we give away in corporate welfare where there are plenty of abusers in that corporate crowd. And is there anyone with a bigger sense of entitlement to government money than the Big Banks and Wall Street?

  26. Walker says:

    Kathy, I have nothing against a public school having a Christmas tree or a Christmas concert or a creche or a menorah or whatever, even though I am an atheist. I’m not sure how I would feel about it if I were a parent, raising my children as atheists, but I’m not in that situation. Do atheists have a right not to have religion promulgated in governmental pronouncements? I can’t get real excited about these issues, but I can see where some would.

    But there is a huge difference between those symbolic issues and requiring that insurers exclude birth control to satisfy a particular religion.

  27. Kathy says:

    myown, who is imposing laws to enforce particular religious beliefs? And what are they?

    I never indicated there are a “significant numbers of lazy no-good slackers who are undeservedly receiving your tax dollars”. If you read my comment earlier, I am not opposed to government helping its citizens. I do not believe we should do away with the govt programs you mentioned.

    However, when things are tight, no one likes the thought of an austerity budget. When we get in the red around here at my house, the first thing I do is look at the budget and eliminate accordingly if necessary. It is arrogant to think that we don’t have to do that with any and all government programs.

    The entitlement mentality would include any and all individuals that would cheat the system. I’m not surprised by this, are you? So if we can simply agree that is certainly the case since we’re human, then let’s look at the numbers and reform the program.

    I think that is a fair assessment.

  28. Kathy says:

    Do atheists have a right not to have religion promulgated in governmental pronouncements?

    What did the atheists of Jefferson’s day do? (see above Jefferson quote). I am not aware of any record that tells us an atheist demanded their right to be recognized during government meetings because they were not in agreement or offended with prayer and recognizing God’s provision. I think they recognized there were bigger fish to fry.

    And bigger fish to fry during the Civil War-

    The Thanksgiving proclamation issued by Lincoln was remarkable not only for its strong religious content but also for its timing, for it was delivered in the midst of the darkest days of the Civil War, with the Union having lost battle after battle throughout the first three years of that conflict. Yet, despite those dark circumstances, Lincoln nevertheless called Americans to prayer with an air of positive optimism and genuine thankfulness . . .

    That remarkable Thanksgiving Proclamation came at a pivotal point in Lincoln’s spiritual life. Three months earlier, the Battle of Gettysburg had occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. It had been while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he first committed his life to Christ. As he later explained to a clergyman:

    When I left Springfield [Illinois, to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.

    I think it’s been a long time since there has been major conflicts bigger than us and we’ve become too focused on “our rights”.

  29. Walker says:

    So we have to live just as they did two hundred years ago? The world has changed just a wee bit since then.

  30. Kathy says:

    “In God We Trust” isn’t engraved all over Washington D.C. for nothing.

  31. Walker says:

    You couldn’t prove it by what goes on there!

  32. myown says:

    Kathy, it’s not quite that simple.

    Actually the founders of this country used “E pluribus unum” – meaning “Out of many, one” and was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created in 1782.

    E pluribus unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when during the Cold War and McCarthy era Congress adopted “In God We Trust” as the official motto for patriotic reasons. For similar reasons the Pledge of Allegiance was modified in 1954 to include the words “under God”.

    In fact, the Courts have ruled that the government’s use of the phrase “In God We Trust” and “under God” are acceptable because they are largely for patriotic and ceremonial purposes and are devoid of any significant religious content.

    Our country would be much better off if we embraced “E pluribus unum” (Out of many, one) rather than follow Republicans who worship the goddess of selfishness – Ayn Rand, while pandering to preachers who want to impose Christian Sharia Law on everyone.

  33. Kathy says:

    Yup, Walker you’re right. Those secularists keep things lively in Washington, don’t they?

  34. Kathy says:

    Prophetic words: While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.

    George Washington

  35. Kathy says:


    E pluribus unum was the motto suggested by the committee Congress on July 4, 1776 for the national seal. The motto was simply to express the theme of the seal. Look at the illustration on the seal and it’s obvious what it stands for.

    In God We Trust was of utmost importance to the Founders:

    What do you do with the facts? Ignore them? Side-step them? They speak for themselves.

  36. myown says:

    Well most of the quotes actually are references to God not to Jesus or Christianity. Mr. McDowell has made his own interpretation, emphasis and assumptions. Are many of our laws and morals expressed in religion? Sure, but many are universal truths not exclusive to Christianity. There are many different religions just as there are many different denominations of Christians. The founding fathers were well aware of the divisiveness that occurs when you favor one particular brand. It seems you want to put Christianity, in particular, into government (where it never was) as long as it is your version. I really don’t understand where you want to go with this Christianity in government thing. Most of our government leaders are Christian, including the President.

    The majority of founding fathers might have been Christian. But they were also wealthy white males of European descent. Based on Mr. McDowell’s thinking that means this country is based on, should pay homage to and be ruled exclusively by wealthy white male Christians. Wait, isn’t that the platform of the Republican Party.

  37. Kathy says:

    For starters, in 1982, the Supreme Court declared the United States a Christian nation.

    If that isn’t enough:

    George Washington- While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.

    John Adams- The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.

    Josiah Bartlett- Called on the people of New Hampshire . . . to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.

    Benjamin Franklin- As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.

    John Jay- Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

    Thomas Jefferson- I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.

    James Madison- I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.

    Noah Webster- he Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.

    There’s lots more found here:

    To answer your question, where I am going with this Christianity in government “thing” is this: I take issue with the secularists (and anyone else) who wishes to refute the factual writings and documents of our nation, thereby removing any and all reference to God, denying we are a Christian nation.

    I believe the truths clearly spoken by the men above, along with all the men and women who sacrificed their lives to defend these truths, are worth preserving.

  38. Kathy says:


    1892 the Supreme Court declared the US a Christian nation.

  39. Walker says:

    Kathy, before you crow too loudly over the Supreme Court’s 1892 declaration, you might want to read this.

  40. myown says:

    That those gentlemen, personally, had nice things to say about Christianity is fine but does not “prove” anything. Obviously many of the country’s founders were Christian, and they were also wealthy white males. Based on the same evidence one can just as easily conclude we are a wealthy white male nation.

    And what exactly does “Christian Nation” mean? Is that the same as Iran is an Islamic country? Should we be ruled by “God’s laws” as you interpret them? Like Islamic countries rule by Sharia Law? Should public schools teach Christianity like Islam is taught in madrassas? Should a Christian prayer be broadcast every morning in public schools?

    I still don’t understand your point – the Courts have ruled in favor of individual religious expression and the use of the word God in many government pronouncements.

    Beyond your wanting to say this is a Christian Nation I don’t understand where it goes. Do you think if enough people agreed this is a “Christian Nation” (whatever that means) that religious issues like abortion, gays, contraception, etc. would be easier to settle or easier to impose religious values? Don’t forget Christianity has many denominations and not all agree on controversial issues. And in some places Christians even fight wars with each other over disagreements.

    “…along with all the men and women who sacrificed their lives to defend these truths…”
    Are you talking about this country’s soldiers? If so, I think you are being presumptuous to assume you know all the reasons why these brave men and women gave their lives in defending this country.

  41. Walker says:

    Myown, I think that as religion in general and Christianity in particular becomes less and less important to a large segment of the American people, those to whom Christianity is very important become more desperate to try to show that Christianity remains crucial to the nation as a whole. It’s like the last ditch campaign to “defend” marriage against same-sex marriage. Twenty years from now, it will all be a footnote (unless of course the Christian fundamentalists in the Air Force and elsewhere rise up and create an American Christian Talliban, and overthrow the government, prior to drowning it in the bathtub, but let’s be optimistic and assume that sanity will prevail).

  42. Walker says:

    Speaking of our nation’s soldiers, it is worth noting that in Nazi Germany, “the German census of May 1939 indicates that 54 percent of Germans considered themselves Protestant and 40 percent considered themselves Catholic,” and Italians were overwhelmingly Catholic– most of their soldiers were praying to the same God most of ours were. The same was true in the American Civil War, where in the South, Christianity was called upon to defend slavery, and in the North, to attack slavery. And in the American Revolution, both sides were overwhelmingly Christian.

    Just sayin’.

  43. oa says:

    Tremendous threadjack by Kathy!

  44. Mervel says:

    Christianity is not a political platform. Thus, since human nations fight wars you are going to have Christians on both sides of those wars.

    Christ did not lead nor came to lead a political or secular or worldly kingdom. But I think if properly understood you will likely be wrong from a Christian standpoint to claim Christ as being totally with you politically either on the Left or on the Right. As Lewis pointed out there are elements of what Christians believe that would be considered very Left wing and other elements that are very conservative. I would be very concerned if any Christian Church always stood with Republicans or always stood with Democrats.

    Walker the interesting thing for the future is that indeed more and more Americans are not attached to any particular denomination or Christian group. However just as many as ever express a belief in God and a belief in the Spiritual realm. So we will see how that plays out.

    But you know we have a long long history, and these trends come and go, who would have thought the Catholic Church would still be around today or that Orthodox Judaism would still be around?

    The key for me is that the US has always held religious liberty as very important, it is the reason that many groups came here in the first place. We have to keep that identity I think. I mean we are not France (yet), we wouldn’t pass laws making it illegal for girls to wear traditional Muslim clothing to school or Christians from wearing a cross.

  45. Kathy says:

    Myown, I think you should review the quotes again. These men had more than nice things to say about Christianity, as if it was an afterthought. And your wealthy white man point is weak. One has nothing to do with the other.

    When I say we are a Christian nation, it means it was founded on Christian principles. I have never indicated our nation should be ruled by God’s laws, similar to Sharia Law. I have said the Founders’ intentions in their writings and documents should be preserved.

    There was a time when public schools did teach Christianity and did open up the day in prayer. Did the nation suddenly get smarter and outgrow their need for the Divine Providence the Founders spoke freely of? We have become a society that no longer needs God?

    When the secularists (and others) fight against those principles because they aren’t Christian or do not like Christianity, it becomes a huge problem. Now you are infringing upon the rights of Christians and a nation who included religion in the government and public schools for 200 years. This is clearly a contradiction from the plethora of statements, documents and writings outlining the Founder’s intentions.

    The military – they are not fighting for Christian principles but for the nation built upon them.

  46. Kathy says:

    Walker, the article you cited – it’s going to take me awhile to digest it. You must be pretty smart to have been able to understand it!

    There’s enough evidence through the Founders’ statements, writings, and documents to comprehend without the 1892 thing.

    And yes, I am very aware of your statistics re: the military in the wars you cited. Two thoughts: 1) Anyone can call themselves a Christian, a Catholic, or a hamburger for that matter. It doesn’t prove much. 2) You don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because some horrible stuff happened at the hands of “Christians” doesn’t make it invalid. There have been disputes and divisions since the beginning of time. It’s called humanity.

    And Walker, if 20 years from now “it will all be a footnote” … you won’t want to live here.

  47. Kathy says:


    I actually think it was Pete K’s comment that prompted my thoughts: Looking good. Let’s hope it stays that way because I would hate to have to move to Afghanistan to find more tolerant religious people than any of the current Republican candidates.

    And the fact that President Obama, the topic of this thread, isn’t lining up well with the Founders’ intentions.

  48. Mervel says:

    Walker, come on you are student of history, a footnote? Who would have thought that the Soviet Union a country that banned any religious expression, whose founders thought that religion was the opiate of the people, that even after close to 100 of this sort of rule, Christianity is still in Russia today and growing; hardly a footnote at all.

    I think the future will see both a trend toward increased secularism and increased Christian devotion. No longer is there a social stigma or social pressure to go to church or to be a Christian, particularly in the North East, and this is a good thing. People now go because they actually have faith, they actually believe it is true.

    Also the US will probably be more likely to become a footnote than Christianity will. Part of our problem is that we think we are the center of the world both spiritually and culturally and this is simply not true.

  49. Mervel says:

    Do Liberals/progressives believe President Obama is a born again believing Christian? It seems to me that like many conservatives they also believe Obama is not “really” a Christian and likely doing it all for political reasons. In that sense the guy can’t win.

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