George W. Bush’s position against abortion, same-sex marriage and embryonic stem-cell research, and for family values inspired many Ohio Evangelical Christians and Catholics to turn out in large number and to re-elect him President, says a report by Knight Ridder Newspapers.
Ohio's biggest cities voted for Senator John Kerry, but in the suburban and rural areas, the vote was strongly for Bush.
Some pollsters and political analysts said many people turned out to vote on the ballot measure to amend the state constitution to ban homosexual unions, which worked in Bush’s favor. The amendment passed easily, 62 percent to 38 percent. The high conservative turnout for the ballot measure generated a lot of votes for Bush, they said.
Exit polling in Ohio Nov. 2 showed 23 percent of voters cited "moral values" as the most important issue in the election, second only to the 24 percent who cited the economy or jobs, reported Knight Ridder. For those to whom moral values were most important, 85 percent said they voted for Bush. For those most concerned about the economy, 83 percent voted for Kerry.
The poll also indicated that of voters who said they attended church weekly, 64 percent voted for Bush and 36 percent voted for Kerry. Among the 10 percent of voters, who said the most important quality in a president was his religious faith, 95 percent voted for Bush. For the seven percent who cited "intelligence" as the most important quality, 93 percent voted for Kerry.
Similar trends were evident nationwide. According to exit polling conducted for The Associated Press, Bush took 78 percent of the country’s white evangelical and born-again vote, compared to only 21 percent for Kerry.