An overwhelming majority of NAE leaders say they have already made up their minds on who they will vote for in the November election, found a survey out this week.
More than three-quarters (82 percent) of the National Association of Evangelicals’ board members have decided who they want to be the next president, according to the September NAE Evangelical Leaders Survey (ELS).
The remaining respondents, 18 percent, say they are still undecided.
But all respondents said they plan to vote in this year’s presidential election.
The NAE noted that it was the first time in the history of the ELS that there was 100 percent agreement among respondents.
“Reporters have repeatedly asked me if Evangelicals will sit out the 2008 presidential election and not cast votes,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. “My instinct and observation was that Evangelicals would not fail to vote no matter who became the candidates.”
The 100 members of the NAE board of directors were asked “Are you going to vote?” and “Have you decided who to vote for?” but stopped short of asking specifically the candidate of choice.
Among the respondents who said they are undecided, one explained that, “I find things to commend and serious concerns with both tickets and platforms.”
“While I have leaned toward John McCain, I do not believe his selection for vice president has the experience needed to be one heart beat away from the presidency, particularly with a 72 year old president. So I remain undecided,” the evangelical leader said.
In contrast, another evangelical leader said that since Sarah Palin, who was a member of the Assemblies of God denomination, is on the presidential ticket, the person will vote for Republican John McCain.
The Assemblies of God is a member denomination of the National Association of Evangelicals.
“In a year when there has been broader debate about which way the Evangelical vote will go, there should be no doubt that the Evangelical vote will not diminish,” Anderson concluded. “Evangelicals are going to show up at the polls in large numbers on November 4.”
The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly questionnaire to 100 members of the NAE board of directors that includes heads of evangelical denominations with about 45,000 local churches, executives of para-church organizations and colleges, as well as a limited number of individual evangelicals who hold at-large seats.