Friday, November 12, 2004

The "moral values" voter myth

One of the myths of the 2004 election, propounded by the mainstream media and semi-mainstream bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, is that the major voting block that influenced the election was "moral values" voters -- a phrase that the media has transformed into a shibboleth for "evangelical redneck bigots."

The problem is, this myth is pure rubbish, just like the Angry White Males, Soccer Moms and other lines of horsepucky that the media has used to (mis)characterize elections. Proof? Read Charles Krauthammer's takedown of the moral values voter myth today. Then get some backup from the Pew Center research referenced in the title link of this post. Most salient fact that eviscerates the moral values voter myth? Bush increased his percentage of the vote MORE in the 39 states that did NOT have anti-homosexual marriage referenda on their ballots than he did in the 11 states that DID have those referenda up for votes. In Ohio, Bush increased his vote percentage by 1 percentage point over his 2000 take, but in the country as a whole Bush's share increased by more than 3 percentage points. Yet the media holds fast to the myth that Bush won Ohio by increasing the religious base vote thanks to the presence of Ohio's anti-gay marriage initiative on the ballot.

Finally, keep remembering that this is all pure fiction. Why? Because in a couple of years from now you will hear the mainstream media talking heads mention the moral values voters of 2004, probably after the 2006 mid-term elections. At least you'll know the truth.

HT: El Capitan

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