To both evangelicals and religion and politics scholars, Election Day is about more than just coloring in state lines.
If they had their own CNN magic map, the graphics would show more than just red and blue. The focus would be on state ballot initiatives and where evangelicals land in exit-poll results. It might show whether California was rainbow colored and whether evangelicals were feeling more blue than usual. We asked several political observers what they are watching for tonight.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Of course, we're looking at the referendums on same-sex marriage, the one in California, the one in Arizona, and the one in Florida. The one in Florida is going to be a tough one because any referendum to the constitution has to get at least 60 percent of the vote. I believe we're going to win in California and Arizona, which require a simple majority.
I will be interested to see what the exit polls tell us about evangelical voting. I don't think it's going to be much different from last time. I think about three-fourths of evangelicals are going to vote for John McCain. I'll be looking at Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. I don't see McCain winning without Ohio and Florida, and if he wins Pennsylvania or Virginia, it's a horse race.
Barack Obama is arguably the most pro-choice candidate ever nominated by a major party. Younger evangelicals are more pro-life than older evangelicals. If Obama wins, it's not going to be with new evangelical votes.
If Obama wins, there will be a pro-life organization fundraising bonanza. They will have a lot more donations to help fight the Obama administration's radically pro-choice agenda.
Whoever is elected, we ...