Evangelicals in Motion?

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Whither the evangelicals this election year? Across the country, journalists are eagerly scrutinizing the scarce tea leaves for signs that they are turning away from their Republican allegiance. Yesterday, for example, the Seattle Times‘ published Haley Edwards’ did a story on just such a turning away on the part of young evangelicals. Also this CNN piece by Tom Foreman. But thus far, there’s precious little data such as would convince an empirical social scientist that there’s something happening out there. Take Sunday’s Rasmussen poll, for example. Having turned its main attention away from the Democratic primary and to an expected Obama-McCain race, it solicited the views of evangelicals, and found that they favored McCain by 69 percent to 28 percent. That’s a few percentage points worse than Republican congressional candidates did among white evangelicals in 2006, but there’s no indication that Rasmussen limited its sample to white evangelicals. Through in Hispanics, and what you’ve got is no movement whatsoever.