Where have all the core Republican voters gone?

The Republican Party has a new political problem on their hands to go with continued bad news coming out of Iraq and a slowing economy. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press have published the results of a poll that shows a 14% drop in support for the Republican Party among Catholics and white evangelical protestants.

Christian conservatives seem to be finally realizing that while Republicans campaign on opposition to abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research, once in office their focus is on passing regressive, unsustainable tax cuts and misguided attempts to reshape the Middle East:

"...religious conservatives could feel betrayed that some Republican politicians recently voted to back stem cell research, and that a Republican-dominated Congress failed to pass an amendment outlawing same-sex marriage."

Think of this experiment in conservative government as the antithesis of the progressive success in the 1990s. President Clinton campaigned on the very progressive idea of building a 21st century economy that could bring hope and opportunity to all Americans, and then delivered on it. Check out Thomas Frank for more on the bait and switch at the center of Republican electoral strategy.

Additionally, the poll revealed that 61% of Americans believe that there should be "immediate government action" to combat global warming. It should be noted that in the past year leading evangelical Christians have begun speaking out against Bush Administrations global warming policy, or lack thereof.

Are Republicans losing touch with one of their base constituencies and will it hurt them come election time? We'll find out in just over ten weeks. Until then, you can be sure NDN and the New Politics Institute will be tracking these shifting demographics, almost as closely as Karl Rove.