Hillary Clinton: I'm not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith, The race for the White House is quickly becoming a race to bridge the "God gap," at least for the Democrats.

Traditionally, matters of faith have been largely Republican territory, but Monday night, the top three Democratic contenders dived in with some eye-opening revelations.

The Democrats, viewed by some as weak on moral issues, spoke freely about their faith in a forum that aired on CNN Monday night.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., discussed how her faith had sustained her during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"I'm not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith," she said. "I'm very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the courage and the strength to do what I thought was right."

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said that he had strayed from the church for many years, but that his faith had roared back during a personal crisis.

"When Elizabeth and I lost our son, we were nonfunctional for some period of time and it was the Lord that got me through that," he said.

Edwards said he couldn't identify his biggest sin. "I'd have a very hard time telling you one thing, one specific sin," he said. "We are all sinners. We all fall short, which is why we have to ask for forgiveness from the Lord."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., talked about how his faith had informed his policy views on helping prison inmates reintegrate into society.

"There is a biblical injunction that I see to make sure that, to make sure that those young men and women have an opportunity to right their lives," he said.

Obama said his faith also affected his beliefs on CEO pay. "I also would like to see executives recognize that when they're getting as much in one day as their average worker is getting in an entire year that there is a moral element to that," Obama said.

Just a few years after evangelical voters helped George W. Bush return to the White House, some Democrats think they are now in a position to close the "God gap."

"This year I think the Democrats are more comfortable talking about religion and values," said Mara Vanderslice, a senior partner at Common Good Strategies.

Richard Land, author of "The Divided States of America," agrees. "I think they'll have some success just by taking religion seriously," he said.

But many conservative Christians say that unless these Democrats change their positions on abortion, they won't have a prayer of winning their vote.



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