A nationwide poll of 1,500 registered voters released yesterday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of white evangelicals are inclined to vote for Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections, a 21-point drop in support among this critical part of the GOP base.
Even before the Foley scandal, the portion of white evangelicals with a "favorable" impression of the Republican Party had fallen sharply this year, from 63 percent to 54 percent, according to Pew polls.
This can only be good for the country as a whole. Just as African-Americans are slowly coming to the conclusion that their votes have been taken for granted by the Democrats, it's good to see that the Republicans are having similar problems holding onto one of their core constituencies. Here's a great chance for minor parties, be they the Libertarian Party, Green Party or others, to make some inroads on these groups.
It's also heartening to see folks actually evaluating each candidate in a complex fashion, without regard to the party label. The usual stereotype for libertarians is that they will vote for Republicans in absence of a Libertarian candidate. In my experience, I'm just as likely to vote for a Democrat on a ballot, depending on which issues are more important than others in any given election.
The days of straight-ticket voting may be over. RIP.
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