Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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May 2008
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LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

BusinessWeek reports on how the GOP's aggressive social agenda is alienating independents:

Independents Are Having Buyer's Remorse

Just nine months after giving George W. Bush the crucial swing votes he needed to best John Kerry, political independents are bolting out of the Republican Big Tent. Angered by GOP meddling in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case, reeling from record gasoline prices, and depressed by the escalating cycle of violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, unaligned voters are suddenly lining up with Democrats to give Bush the lowest ratings of his Presidency...

Nearly 30% of the electorate describes itself as independent, though about half of those voters remain registered with a party. So while Republicans have signed up more than 4 million unregistered Christian conservatives in two years, a sizable decline in independent support in the 2006 midterm elections could leave the GOP a net loser outside the South...

The swing-voter stampede started after the extraordinary intervention by Bush and the GOP Congress in the Schiavo case. Now socially moderate independents -- who strongly favor expanded stem cell research and oppose overturning Roe v. Wade -- fear that the majority party is in thrall to the Religious Right. "These people lean more Republican because of fiscal issues, but they're much more liberal on social issues," says independent pollster Dick Bennett of American Research Group. "After Schiavo, they said, 'Wait a minute. We didn't buy in for that.'"

...The indie revolt worries some GOP veterans, but the White House seems unconcerned. Some insiders say Bush ├╝ber-strategist Karl Rove believes Republicans can afford to lose socially liberal swing voters if they succeed in wooing indie and Democratic "values voters" and increasing turnout on the Christian Right. "They obviously have a strategy to change the electorate, and they're willing to give up independents and moderates," says Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg.

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