Young, Evangelical, and Voting (AUDIO)

BY MATT DURNING //

The evangelical church community is widely regarded as one of America’s most powerful and reliable voting blocks. Over the past two presidential elections, they have played an integral role in the election and re-election of George W. Bush. In November 2004, Bush won 78 percent of evangelical voters nationally.

This year, however, opinion research has shown a shift in support among young evangelicals away from the Republican candidate, John McCain,and toward Barack Obama.

According to a September 2008 survey conducted for PBS’s Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc, McCain currently has the support of 71 percent of white evangelicals, but only 62 percent of young white evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29.

Perhaps more significant, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that while a majority of young white evangelicals describe themselves as conservative on social issues, slightly more identified this year as either independents or Democrats than as Republicans.

Recently, El Cerrito Focus reporter Matt Durning visited the Trinity Evangelical Free Church in El Cerrito to find out how young evangelicals in your community are feeling about the upcoming election. The result? A wide diversity of opinion on everything from same-sex marriage to Sarah Palin to U.S. foreign policy.

Click below to hear audio interviews with five of Trinity’s young evangelical members and their pastor.

AKI SUGAWARA, 29

 <h3>Aki Sugawara</h3>

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REBECCA OLSON, 26

 <h3>Rebecca Olson</h3>

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DEAN SAMUELS, 30

 <h3>Dean Samuels</h3>

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DARRELL OLSON, 30

 <h3>Darrell Olson</h3>

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DARIUS BARNES, 25

 <h3>Darius Barnes</h3>

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TOM JOHNSTON, PASTOR

 <h3>Pastor Tom Johnston</h3>

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