"If Republicans win control of the Senate in the midterm elections they should say a prayer of thanks for Christian conservatives. Although they get little attention from candidates, white evangelical Christian voters are likely to be fundamental to any Republican victories in the key Senate races, especially in the South.
"The religious right's influence may be much reduced since the days of Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell's alliances with Republican presidents. But Christian conservatives will probably vote in greater numbers on Nov. 4 than others, giving them an outsized say in who runs Congress. Forty-nine percent of evangelicals say they have a great deal of interest or quite a bit of interest in news about the elections, compared to 38 percent of non-evangelicals. ... Almost 40 percent of Republicans said they were born-again or evangelical Christians, according to the online survey.
The party loyalty is striking given that Republican candidates have largely avoided evangelicals' pet topics like opposition to abortion and gay marriage for fear of alienating moderate voters in tight U.S. Senate races."
The congregation mostly agreed. Some voiced disappointment that Republicans failed to choose a Christian conservative as presidential nominee at the last two elections. "We end up with a crippled duck every time," said Charles Fast, 70, a former policeman.
In the Arkansas Senate race, a Fox News poll this month gave Republican Tom Cotton a 34-point lead over Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor among white, born-again Christian voters.
White Protestants are shrinking as a proportion of the U.S. population. And Moore's denomination, the largest Protestant group in America, has lost membership every year since 2007 as young people drift away. An internal survey found a quarter of Southern Baptist churches that reported statistics did not baptize a single person in 2012.
More on "Christian right key to Republican performance in U.S. midterms" BY ALISTAIR BELL, SPRINGDALE Ark. Reuters here.
Allow me to point out that America in particular experiences general waves of religiosity and troughs of free thinking.
In the movie Going My Way (1944), Father Chuck O'Malley (Bing Crosby) is confronted by a man who says that he is not religious and is in fact superstitious. 1944 was the year Sister Aimee McPherson died about a decade after her fame faded. Ten years later, challenged by godless communism, the USA rebounded, even putting In God We Trust on paper money. (IGWT first appeared on coins during the Civil War.) So, my prediction is that the Christians can experience another rebound. They do not need to command a majority to swing the nation.
And as for ethnicity, while Catholicism is deep among Hispanics, Pentecostalism is also - and Hispanics are (generally) socially conservative. Here in Texas, i worked with two women who could have been supervisors now, but who grew up in traditional families that did not encourage education for women. At the same time, at meetings of the Austin Tech Republicans our Hispanic comrades have warned us not to push to the right on immigration because they will not respond except to identify even closer to their own community on that issue.