A new Gallup study out suggest that white evangelicals aren’t running away from President Bush or the Republican Party.
All Americans have become less likely over the last three years to identify with the Republican Party, and less likely to approve of the job President Bush is doing. Highly religious Americans have followed this same pattern, but no more — and no less — than anyone else. This is particularly true among highly religious white Americans, who have constituted a core base for the Republican Party. Thus, the gap between religious white Americans and whites who are not religious in terms of GOP identification and Bush approval is just as large today as it was in 2004 and 2005. Highly religious white Americans remain one of the strongest pockets of support for the Republican Party in the United States.
To prove the point, Gallup produced the following charts:
What is striking – and unanswered by Gallup -is why there has been such a dramatic decline in church attendance among Republicans. Could it be that Republican faith in Bush was so great that disillusionment with him has literally hurt their faith in God?
While Gallup may be correct in saying religious Republicans have simply grown to dislike the president and the GOP just like all other Americans, that is not proof that the “crack up” in the evangelical movement vis-a-vis the Republican party isn’t occurring. This group of people – religious conservatives – are the foundation of the Republican party. They are the group most likely to give, most likely to volunteer, most likely to devote their lives to getting a candidate elected. Losing this group of ultra-devoted followers at the same rate as the rest of America is evidence of a massive crackup. When the base shakes and quakes the building it supports – in this case the GOP – is in grave danger.