Many have now commented on the significant shifts among religious voters in the midterm elections, in what Steve Waldman described as the "Smaller God Gap" between Republicans and Democrats. Nationally, 29% of white evangelicals voted for Democrats - up from the 21% who voted for John Kerry in 2004 and the 25% who voted for Democrats in House races that year. And all evangelicals together (including Whites, Hispanics, Asians, and African American evangelical voters) went 41% for Democrats and 58% for Republicans. Because that trend is also a profoundly generational one, it will likely grow in the future. An even bigger shift occurred among Catholics, with 55% voting for Democrats and 44% for Republicans - from the 47% of Catholics who voted for Kerry and the 49% for Democratic House candidates in 2004.
An important new exit poll, commissioned by Faith in Public Life and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and conducted by Zogby International, now shows why that shift occurred. The poll, released at a press conference today, offers more explanations of the substantial shift in religious voters in the midterm elections.
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