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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: Across religious spectrum, voters are increasingly identifying themselves as Republican. Why?

Every religious group is clamoring to have their personal religious interests take precedence over the interests of America. In the long run it is not sustainable and does not bode well for America. There are two critical factors in the play to explain the voter shift towards Republicans; unemployment and religion.

TEXAS FAITH: Across religious spectrum, voters increasingly identifying themselves as Republican. Why?

Across almost every major religious group, the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady. So what's going on? Why has the number of religious voters identifying themselves as Democrats declined - and as Republicans risen? Why do you think this is happening?

We asked our panel of Texas Faith experts to weigh in. Their responses follow:
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

There are two critical factors in the play to explain the voter shift towards Republicans; unemployment and religion.

Every religious group is clamoring to have their personal religious interests take precedence over the interests of America. In the long run it is not sustainable and does not bode well for America.

There is a positive correlation between the swap among unaffiliated Independents and Democrats. The 4% loss to Democrats comes from the 4% gain to the unaffiliated independents; there is also an identical 4% increase in Republican leaning independents from 39% to 43%. The major contributing factor seems to be the unemployment. Per the department of Labor, the unemployment grew from 6% in July 2008 to 9.2% in July of 2011 and the shift has occurred during the same period. Disenchantment factor seems to be in the play.

While the Republican base has remained even at 28% in the survey period, the loss has occurred in the Democratic Party, moving away towards independents. Which throws a challenge to the Democratic Party that it was a performance based change and the gain will shift back with new and improved results, which is yet to be surveyed.

Not sure, how big a factor unemployment is when you review the new analysis in the same survey that claims, "the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady in every major religious group."

The biggest gain for the Republican leaning registered voters comes from Mormons, Jews and White Catholics respectively. That is 12, 9 and 8 points. Is it easy to draw conclusions?

Is Romney a factor for a 12% gain for the Republicans among Mormons? That is the highest singular gain among all religious groups.

What percent of the 9% Jewish shift towards Republicans is attributable to Democratic President's stance towards Iran? What percentage goes towards his call for the 1967 borders and stopping the settlements?

The White Catholics have the third largest leaning towards Republicans with 8%. Is it the abortion issue or the same sex marriage? We cannot entertain political candidacy as Gingrich and Santorum had not announced their candidacy during the entire survey period, where as Mormons know Romney was going to run.

America was founded on liberty from religious persecution and we should consciously not let a religious ideology dominate the nation, we are the final frontier land of freedom and we should preserve it, unless we have the promised moon colony ready to flee.

Let people have the freedom to choose and not let the government regulate what we eat, drink, wear, believe or who we marry.
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Additional Notes: I am glad to see the spread in party identification – 34% identify themselves as Democrats with an additional 14% independents who lean towards Democrats giving them a 48% political share, where as 28% identify themselves as Republicans with an additional 16% who lean towards Republicans giving them a share of 44% and that leaves an 8% true independents. Where are you in this affiliation game?
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Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/

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