Reports of Evangelicals’ Political Demise Greatly Exaggerated

From Steve Deace:

The ruling class in both political parties keeps waiting for it to happen and reporting it has happened, but it hasn’t happened yet.

In fact, the 2014 election results confirm the exact opposite is true — reports of evangelicals’ political demise have been greatly exaggerated. Furthermore, given how increasingly Balkanized we are becoming as a culture, a case could certainly be made that evangelicals are poised to have more influence in the political system than ever before. As politicians, particularly Democrats, continue to appeal to voters based on identity (i.e. gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.) and not ideology, evangelicals will remain among the largest ideologically-driven group of voters.

As I document in my latest book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, the overwhelming reason Mitt Romney lost in 2012 was his failure to turn out the base. Mr. Romney won independents in key battleground states Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia, and nearly tied for them in Florida. All tremendous improvements over John McCain’s poor showing with independents in each of those states back in 2008. Nevertheless, Mr. Romney still lost all those states because 2.5 million fewer evangelicals voted in 2012 compared to 2008, evangelical turnout in Virginia was down 7 percent in 2012, and President Obama improved his evangelical turnout in Ohio by 8 percent. At least 6 million evangelicals actually voted for Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012.

But fast forward two years and the tables have turned. Despite clear and present attempts from the Republican Party establishment to divorce itself from its most important base, Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics notes that Republicans received more votes from evangelicals in 2014 than Democrats received from all non-whites nationwide combined.

Read more: Washington Times