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What Americans Believe

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Charles Blow observes what many of us have suspected for quite some time now…that we’re really not all that much different when you take a look at what we believe:

• Six in 10 Americans believe that conservation should be emphasized to solve the energy problem, 7 in 10 favor the death penalty for murder and don’t want to ban the sale of handguns, and 8 in 10 believe in God but also believe that abortion should be legal, at least under certain circumstances.

• Nearly half now believe that we are unlikely to win the war in Iraq and that the war has made us less safe from terrorism.

• An increasing number of people believe that religion as a whole is losing its influence on American life and an increasing number want it to have less influence.

• While more bemoan the worsening state of moral values in the country, we are increasingly shifting our opinion on what is morally acceptable. Now most believe that getting divorced, engaging in premarital sex and having babies outside of marriage are morally acceptable. Nearly half also say that gay relationships are morally acceptable.

This sounds like the classic swing voter…with probably a couple of views different for everybody. But still, this is the new political reality.

So, that begs the question…which candidate falls more in line with this reality? Honestly, I think it’s Obama, and while McCain is still running close enough to pick up a decent amount of the swing vote, he needs to pick up the majority to win. There are simply more voters who identify as Democrats this time around and if John wants to be POTUS, he better start reaching out more to the moderate middle and convincing them that even though he may have different views from them, he can still be a President for everybody, not just the base.