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November 06, 2004

What unprecedented evanglical turnout?

Christians See Court Appointments as Top Bush Aim [Reuters]:

The "moral values" meme is insinuating itself into conventional wisdom.

Unprecedented turnout by evangelical Christians was a key factor in ensuring Bush's narrow victory over Democrat John Kerry in the election. Many were motivated by their opposition to same sex marriage and abortion.

How exactly do we know that there was an "unprecedented evangelical turnout" in 2004. Actually, we don't [Slate]:

The evidence that having a gay-marriage ban on the ballot increased voter turnout is spotty. Marriage-ban states did see higher turnout than states without such measures. They also saw higher increases in turnout compared with four years ago. But these differences are relatively small. Based on preliminary turnout estimates, 59.5 percent of the eligible voting population turned out in marriage-ban states, whereas 59.1 percent turned out elsewhere. This is a microscopic gap when compared to other factors. For example, turnout in battleground states was more than 7.5 points higher than it was in less-competitive states, and it increased much more over 2000 as well.

The media are playing into the religious right's hands by uncritically repeating the "unprecedented turnout" claim. Some Democrats are so terrified of the alleged evangelical menace that they're willing to launch a preemptive strikes against their own liberal values. Nice work, credulous media. Of course the evangelicals will tell you they swung the election, suckers. Next time, make them prove it.

Edit: DJW of Lawyers Guns and Money argues that there's some evidence that a strong evangelical turnout counteracted an unprecedented liberal GOTV drive in Ohio. Sounds plausible to me. But even if DJW's hypothesis is correct, there's not nearly enough evidence to support the "All Hail Our New Overlords" narrative that the media have seized upon.


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I wonder to what extent the opposite was true. Did more gays turn-out in those states to support the Dems?

Statistically there seems to be no correlation between any particular demographic and bush's increased vote. He just got more people from a whole range of places.

Indeed, even if this was a small factor that happened to put them over the top (just barely) in one key state, it looks like it was a minor factor overall, and not one the Democrats can do much to counter anyway. The fact that it may have been the straw that broke the camel's back this time around doesn't mean it should be where we focus on picking up future votes.

I was led to and have reviewed your website as the result of my own inquiry on the sponsors for the organization "" and it struck me as very, I would say pitiful, that you would criticize or scrutinize any organization that would promote decency and for people to become more conscious of the way they interact with their fellow man.

It appears that you are a very intelligent and articulate person who claims to be a student of philosophy. It is quite apparent that your outlooks is infected by your political philosphy and hatred for conservative values as well as your cliche hatred of President Bush. Ostensibly, you represent yourself as someone who stands for a free-thinking society. This is where your philosophy is flawed. Your infectious ideology only lends itself to anarchy and socialist dogma which all people know, will eventually evolve into an opressed society which restricts and forbids free-thinking much like the Soviets did. That is why their "eutopia" failed. Without democracy and captalism, there is no First Amendment and freedom of expression which you liberals always seem so eager to waive. These privileges can only be guaranteed by a society that sponsors morals that will protect the basic tenents of life and liberty. Morals are not relative and anyone who claims they are is obviously lacking in any basis for what their life is founded. Hence, aetheists, pagans, and liberals.

Yes, you are probably beginning to see that I am a born again Christian. I agree with your assertion that Christians did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the election. I believe that people are searching for a purpose in life and they see the President as someone who strives for a higher moral plane for this blessed country of ours.

I will end my diatribe by saying that I do not hate you or liberals like whom obviously hate Christians and conservatives. Our love will always conquer your hate. Needless to say, we are keeping an eye on you and your infectious rhetoric that you and other liberal websites spew. Its time people everywhere know the agenda of the liberal hate mongers.

Finally, be aware of your self-acclaimed intellectual prowess lest it blind you permanently from salvation. There is a Truth to life and He is not in your textbooks.

Praying for you and liberals everywhere.

C. Schmidt

P.S. I'm not a Mormon nor religious

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