Religious Voters

RELIGIOUS VOTERS….Why do I keep writing about the exit polls? Because of stories like this from the Washington Post’s Alan Cooperman:

Religious liberals contended that a concerted effort by Democrats since 2004 to appeal to people of faith had worked minor wonders, if not electoral miracles, in races across the country.

….Democrats recaptured the Catholic vote they had lost two years ago. They sliced the GOP’s advantage among weekly churchgoers to 12 percentage points, down from 18 points in 2004.

….In House races in 2004, 74 percent of white evangelicals voted for Republicans and 25 percent for Democrats, a 49-point spread, according to exit polls. This year, Republicans received 70 percent of the white evangelical vote and Democrats got 28 percent, a 42-point spread.

Once more with feeling: in the the overall national vote, Democrats picked up 5 percentage points compared to 2004.

Among Catholics they picked up 6 points.

Among weekly churchgoers they picked up 3 points.

Among white evangelicals they picked up 3 points.

There’s just no story here unless you look at individual races. Nationally, turnout among religious voters was as high as it was in 2004, and their shift toward Democrats was either the same or a bit less than the overall national shift. I’d love to be able to say that Democrats made some disproportionate inroads in this group, since it’s such an important part of the GOP base, but they didn’t. People need to quit saying it.