Over at Beliefnet.com, our friend Steve Waldman has been -- it seems -- up all night. Here is his very insightful look at the "Pew gap" factors, which offers an early analysis of the shape of the new religious left-secular left coalition that was formed last night. President-Elect Obama cut into the vague "God gap" and made a slight improvement in the "Pew gap," the statistic linking claimed worship attendance to real votes. There is much here to discuss, so keep reading this updated post.
Over at Christianity Today, the ever energetic (and way younger than me) Ted Olsen has created a map to chart the exit poll numbers for evangelical voters. Click here to see his progress reports.
Also, here's CNN's exit polling data about how religious voters voted.
Here's the key chart: Click to see it. The "pew gap" shrank a bit, but the basic structures remained the same. This has the Catholic vote divided into two groups, which is simplistic, but that still helps.
So what are we still looking for? Everyone knows that the white evangelicals bit their lips and showed up for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin. That's old news. The question is whether they showed up in force, as in the past. It seems that the numbers shifted a tiny bit.
Meanwhile, this whole night was about (a) the size of the African-American turnout and (b) the size of the various Catholic votes. It will be interesting to see how the black vote for Obama contrasts with the black vote on, oh, the gay-marriage bans in places like Florida and California.
On those all-important Catholic votes (way, way plural), superblogger Amy Welborn has an open thread up and running and you can check there for the collected wisdom of her readers.
Meanwhile, the chosen priest of the mainstream press -- Father Thomas J. Reese of Georgetown -- has delivered a very simplistic benediction over at "OnFaith" that attempts to wish away the reality of the Catholic votes (again, plural). Check this out, since it attempts to hide one of the major stories of the day:
Catholic voters ignored the instructions of a group of vocal bishops and delivered 54% of their vote for Barack Obama as president of the United States. These bishops, led by Archbishops Charles Chaput and Raymond Burke, argued that abortion was the most important issue in the election and that no other issues outweighed it. As a result, they argued, Catholics could not vote for a pro-choice candidate.
Although these bishops were a minority of the U.S. bishops, they received much attention in the media because other bishops kept silent or simply referred people to their 2007 document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The silence of the majority gave the impression that the vocal bishops were speaking for all the bishops.
Some media outlets estimated the number of vocal anti-Obama bishops at 50 or more. I do not trust these numbers.
That is the definitive Catholic left statement, right there. For the list of 100-plus U.S. bishops releasing statements defending Catholic teachings on abortion, in the context of the election, click here.
Where would be the best place to keep tabs on other reactions over on the Catholic left? Any suggestions? How about the religious left in general? Surely there was a George Soros-funded operation that ran an election-night blog on the success of the religious left?
Like I said up top, Waldman has been watching the exit polls like a hawk and he has this interesting piece up already on the solid churchgoers vs. the "occassionals" who sort of go to church. That's where the Catholic vote will get really interesting, in terms of looking toward long-term conflict between American Catholics and pro-Vatican Catholics. Keep watching that weblog.
At the "Spiritual Politics" weblog over at Trinity College, veteran Mark Silk has already pulled out some of the numbers on the Jewish vote and what did he find? Yada, yada. Business as usual.
Send me some additional links and I will try to updating this, heading on into the morning after.
While you are at it, you will probably want to bookmark this link over at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, where I expect a boatload of survey numbers before dawn or shortly thereafter. I want a hologram of John Green and I want it now!