I found this short article from the Wall Street Journal entitled "How Obama Lured Millions of Religious Voters" fascinating. I must say what I find truly remarkable about Obama is his use of rhetoric, of presenting the sheer "feel good factor", of communicating a sense of hope. His style reminds me of evangelical preachers, he is definitely a secularist but has a remarkable gift of getting millions to put their faith in him. I am sure that his greatest difficulty will be sustaining this faith and hope. When they do so, so, I think will the love, or at least affection that lead many of those first time voters who supported him.
This side of the pond we saw a similar thing with Tony Blair, but in the US things move faster.
He won Catholics back.
Early exit polls indicate he won 54% of the Catholic vote compared with 45% for Sen. McCain. Mr. Bush won the Catholic vote 52%-46%. Most of those gains came from Catholics who don’t attend Mass weekly.
He also attracted a a greater portion of vote among white Catholics, according to the early exit polls. Mr. Bush got 56%-43% of the Catholic vote, while Sen. McCain lead by just 51%-49%. This was despite an aggressive push by more than 50 Catholic bishops to encourage Catholics to focus on abortion as the election’s central issue.
He emphasized reducing the number of abortions.
As the campaign went on it became clear that many moderate evangelicals and Catholics agreed with Sen. Obama on the economy and the Iraq war but couldn’t get past his consistently pro-choice views. As conservatives hammered Sen. Obama on his opposition to the born alive bill, he could see moderate evangelicals and possibly Catholics slipping away. At the urging of progressive pro-life activists, the campaign began talking about an “abortion reduction” agenda — helping reduce unintended pregnancies through education and birth control, and providing financial assistance to pregnant mothers to make it easier for them to carry a baby to term. They included language in the Democratic platform suggesting as such, and Sen. Obama touted the idea in a few comments during debates. Dial-ometers soared when, during the third debate, he emphasized common ground on abortion and “sacred sex.”
As the election approached, antiabortion progressives ran radio and TV ads pushing the idea that one could be pro-life and pro-Obama.