The Theo-con myth?

So, seems it is now the official party line of ‘collectively depressed liberal Britain’ that Bush won the election thanks to an invasion of the voting stations by ultra-conservative evangelical Christians who never thought of voting in the past until Karl Rove got on their case?

Reading some of the comments on our own blog that certainly seems to be the new thing to be excited about.

Well blogger Andrew Coyne has done a bit of digging into the data to see what else might help explain Bush’s victory over then the hoardes of the religious right. It certainly is part of the picture but by no means the only explanation or even the most significant.

Just a few samples:

Bush got roughly 90% of the Republican vote, plus 10% of the Democratic vote — plus 50% of Independents. Add it up: that means fully one-third of Bush’s vote came from non-Republicans — the same proportion as the “moral values” voters.

We might also note that Bush’s support increased significantly among women (at 48%, there was effectively no gender gap: indeed he led Kerry 55-44 among white women), among Hispanics (44%, a record for any Republican candidate), among blacks (okay, it was only 11%, up from 9% last time, but that’s a one-fifth increase!), among Jews (at 25%, a one-third expansion), and among Catholics (where he beat Kerry, a Catholic, 52-47).

– Bush took 46% of first-time voters. He took 52% of college graduates. 48% of working women. 44% of those earning less than $50,000. 45% of those aged 18-29. Given these are conventionally supposed to be strongly Democratic demographic groups, it suggests the stereotype of Bush voters as middle-aged white guys is equally suspect.

80% of Bush voters said they voted for their candidate, rather than against the other one. Barely a third of Kerry voters said the same.

So maybe things are little more, erm, nuanced, than some would have us believe?