God-o-Meter’s Beliefnet buddy David Kuo has this to say about James Dobson’s stated rationale for opposing John McCain, which was read today on air by Laura Ingraham:
Damn. Is there a more succinct and stunning summation of the reason why evangelical voters are throwing off self-appointed evangelical mullahs like James Dobson? And why, according to a new Barna study, 40% of evangelicals would vote for the Democratic candidate if the election were held today (versus 28% for the Republican candidate).
Let God-o-Meter be the first to say that evangelicals are clearly less beholden to Christian Right leaders like Dobson than in the past. Because of their disillusionment with the GOP and their adoption of more progressive causes, evangelicals are more open to Democrats than they’ve been in eight years.
Still, God-o-Meter parts company with Kuo on the question of Dobson’s influence. Here’s why: the Focus on the Family founder presides over a national empire of evangelical activists that doubles as the organizational muscle for the GOP. Is that machine strong enough to stop John McCain in the primaries? Maybe not. But come November, if Dobson’s machine declines to swing into action for the Arizona senator, it could be the single biggest reason behind McCain’s loss.