Thursday, October 12, 2006

Evangelicals really are abandoning the GOP

New analysis from Gallup will spur sales of Maalox at the RNC's neighborhood drug store. The GOP's greatest fear has come true. Religious whites, the so-called "values voters" of the 2004 election, are abandoning the Republican Party.

In the wake of the GOP Sexual Predator scandal, the GOP might have taken encouragement from a New York Times story, based mostly on anecdotal evidence, that Evangelical Christians were unlikely to punish the party for the failure of congressional leaders to take action against Mark Foley. Reporter David Kirkpatrick went so far as to suggest that Republicans might even benefit on election day from religious conservatives' disgust over the perceived cultural permissiveness which might lead to such a scandal.

Not so, says Gallup.

An analysis of USA Today/Gallup poll trend data indicates that while Democrats have made gains across the board on the generic Congressional ballot in the latest Oct. 6-8 survey, the change has been greater among religious whites than among less religious whites and among non whites. At this point, religious whites are equally as likely to say they will vote Democratic as Republican, a marked change from their strong tilt towards the Republicans in surveys conducted June through September.
In the period between June and September, Democrats suffered from a 23-point deficit among religious whites. They are now even. Understand what this means. White frequent churchgoers, "values voters," are as likely to vote Democratic as they are to vote Republican.

The nightmare scenario for the Republican Party has been merely that religious conservatives would stay home on election day, rather than get out and vote for GOP candidates. There are, no doubt, many who will not feel any particular motivation to go to the polls. However, the horror increases by an order of magnitude when you factor in those who will vote, but will vote for Democrats instead of Republicans.

The GOP Sexual Predator scandal has taken its toll, along with decades worth of broken promises to address the religious right's pet issues of gay marriage and abortion.

They're mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore.