Saturday, December 6, 2003
Dean's religion problem.
Today's New York Times reports on the Democrats' (absolutely crucial) attempts to attract some of the churchgoers who left the party for the Republicans over the last two decades:
In the 1980's, Protestant voters supported Democrats and Republicans in roughly equal proportions, according to surveys of voters in general elections and a recently released study of religious voters. But that pattern shifted sharply in the 1990's as white evangelical Christians and increasing numbers of white Roman Catholics shifted their political allegiances to Republicans. . . .
Highlighting the urgency of the issue for Democrats, a random survey of 1,997 registered voters released this fall by the Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of voters who attended religious services more than once a week said they planned to vote for Mr. Bush next year. That compared with 37 percent who said they preferred a Democratic candidate. The margin is narrower among the larger group of voters who attend church once a week, with 56 percent planning to vote for Mr. Bush and 44 percent planning to vote for a Democrat. ("Democrats Try to Regain Ground on Moral Issues," Rachel L. Swarns and Diane Cardwell, New York Times 12.6.03)
Dean is notably not pursuing this particular part of the electorate. (Wesley Clark is, as the article points out in the second graf.) Amy Sullivan continues to argue that Howard Dean is too tone-deaf to American religiosity — a problem that could sink the Democrat's chances once again. Consider this:
Dean just absolutely does not get religion. His campaign, to its credit, does have someone starting religious outreach, but it's a Unitarian Universalist minister. No offense to UUs, but that's not going to play well outside of New England.
Ah, well. Maybe in 2008?
Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 6 December 2003 at 8:25 PM