Obama, McCain aim for faith vote at forum
US: US presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain target
religious voters on Saturday when as guests of one of America’s foremost
evangelists they discuss faith in public life, AIDS, the environment and
Religion plays a big role in U.S. politics despite the traditional
separation of church and state and the White House hopefuls are certain
to be asked about how faith would fit in their potential presidencies.
The candidates won’t debate each other at the Civil Forum which will
be moderated by mega-pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church in Lake
Forest, California. He will interview each in turn, although they are
expected to share the stage together briefly.
“It’s quite an extraordinary thing, it’s the first time a preacher
has convened the two presumptive candidates ... They are both fighting
for that vote,” said Michael Lindsay, a political sociologist at Rice
University in Houston.
Evangelicals account for one in four U.S. adults and have become a
key conservative base for the Republican Party with a strong focus in
the past on opposition to abortion and gay rights and the promotion of
“traditional” family values.