November 7, 2006
Those fickle evangelicals
The headline at ABC News: "Losing Faith in the GOP | Early Exit Polls: Third of White Evangelicals Voted for Democrats" Marcus Baram reports:
Almost a third of white evangelicals voted for Democrats in today's election, according to early exit polls reported by The Associated Press. Most of them cited corruption as an important factor in their decision.
That's a change from the 2004 presidential election when 78 percent of white evangelicals voted for Bush and 21 percent voted for Kerry. That was a recent peak in evangelical attachment to Republicans.
In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, evangelicals constituted 23 percent of the electorate.
Today's early numbers seem to show that Democrats have been able to recapture some of that huge block.
In the 2002 midterm elections, almost 68 percent of evangelicals favored Republican candidates. In 2000, 68 percent voted for Bush and 30 percent for Gore.
Wait a second. A third of evangelicals voted for Democrats in this year's election? And two-thirds voted for Republicans in the last mid-term election? Barring any third-party shenanigans hidden in that data, doesn't this suggest that evangelical commitment hasn't changed much, and that the 2004 election was a special case?