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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Measuring Candidates’ Religious Talk

From his perch at the Top of the Ticket blog at the L.A. Times, Andrew Malcom flags a fun feature at Beliefnet.com about the presidential candidates’ religious talk:

It’s called the God-o-Meter and it’s billed as “a scientific measure of God-talk in elections.” It’s a joint operation between Beliefnet and Time magazine and it rates candidates on the basis of what they’re saying about religion and the religious communities’ reactions to them.

As you might imagine it’s quite a horse-race in the GOP field, with Huckabee, McCain and Romney leading the pack with a three-way tie at 8 points. Readers may be surprised, however, to learn which Democratic presidential candidates also score an 8 on the God-o-Meter: Barack Obama and Bill Richardson, indicating perhaps that position on the left-right political continuum has little to do with the propensity for God talk. Dodd and Giuliani have the lowest scores, Dodd being the only candidate to refuse to talk about his religious beliefs in detail on principle and Giuliani because, well, “he doesn’t like to either,” according to Malcom.
(For readers seeking clues about their own spiritual direction, Beliefnet also has a 20-question quiz, “Belief-O-Matic,” which ranks the religious faiths and denominations most closely alligned with the test-taker’s beliefs. Despite the flip test name, the questions are thoughtfuil and provocative.)

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