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January 10, 2004
Bush Continues to Build Strength in the 'Religious' Vote

Continuing the discussion below, the Religious News Service reports that George Bush has built a considerable strength among those voters who consider themselves religious, as reprinted in the Star Tribune:

Polls indicate Bush holds a commanding lead among the most religious voters, a 2004 advantage he did not enjoy over 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore. In a Gallup Poll conducted Nov. 10-12, Bush held a 67 to 30 percent lead among religious voters over the Democratic front-runner, former Vermont Gov. Dean. In hypothetical head-to-head races with Gephardt and Clark, Bush's lead was 65 to 33 percent. ... The shift could be significant, particularly in the South and Midwest, where religion can spell the difference in a close election. According to Gallup polls, religion is "very" or "extremely" important to the voting decisions of about one in three nationally. And among these Americans, it's advantage Bush.

The article reviews the controversy over Dean's reversal from his earlier secularism and notes that other than Joe Lieberman, no other candidate in the race is identified as strongly with religion as George Bush. I don't think that's so much the problem for Democrats as their strong identification with secularism. In either case, the end result is Bush expanding his base in the past three years, while Democrats continue to fall behind. Inserting a prayer at the start of a campaign appearance won't address the disdain that the Left has demonstrated towards the religious in this country, and as long as the radical leftists remain Dean's main base, the religious will continue to avoid Democrats, to Bush's gain.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 10, 2004 2:22 PM

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