God Gapology

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OK, the aggregate House of Representatives exit poll shows that the good old God Gap is as wide as ever. Pew tells the story:
In the great bathtub of voter behavior, everyone sloshed back towards
the Republicans. That’s to say, from the white evangelicals to the
nones, the GOP posted gains. Over at Huffpost, Eric Sapp points out
with some asperity that among Protestants and Catholics, the gains were
considerably more substantial than with the electorate as a whole.

Sapp, who used to labor in the vineyards of Democratic faith outreach,
alleges that the Dems abandoned that outreach this time around–and
that if they hadn’t the results might not have been so bad. He makes a
good case that had Catholic outreach been what it was in 2006 and 2008,
Joe Sestak would be the next senator from Pennsylvania.

So who’s
to blame? Sapp is too, ah, polite to point the finger. But there aren’t
many places to point. The engine for faith outreach after 2004 was
Howard Dean’s DNC. Recognizing himself as religiously challenged, Dean
saw the light and hired Leah Daughtry to do the thing. But after the 2008 election Obama installed Tim Kaine and the effort came to a halt. How come?

Last May, WaPo’s Michelle Boorstein drew back the veil. You didn’t have to read very closely to conclude
that White House religion czar Joshua DuBois had put the kibosh on DNC
faith outreach. With the 1012 reelection effort officially starting
today, you wonder whether Obama’s people will take Sapp’s message
seriously–and tell the boss that something has to be done. I’m betting
they won’t.

Update: Reaction from an administration official: “It is simply not true that the White House–at any time or in any way–limited the faith outreach at the DNC.”