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Pocketbook voting in the pews

October 26, 2006

Much of the thesis of the bestselling What’s the Matter With Kansas?, and much of the conventional wisdom of the left (yes, there is a left-wing CW, just as there’s a very right wing “centrist” CW), is that evangelical Americans are a pack of Wal-Mart shoppers who keep voting for Republicans even though the Republicans keep taking them to the cleaners economically at every turn.

Well, thirty years ago evangelicals came primarily from the lunchbox class. The middle and upper classes tended to be Protestants from “mainstream” denominations. But over the decades, and I don’t know which is the chicken and which is the egg, evangelical churches have grown gradually more upscale. And it is no longer true that a Republican vote is something you get when you drag a glossy photo of a bloody fetus through a trailer park.

Take a gander at this fascinating chart of the voting habits of evangelicals, when broken down by income. The unwashed religious masses are not as stupid, not as prone to voting against their own interests, as the overwashed secular masses have been trained to think they are.

Evangelicals making less than 35 grand a year are more likely to vote blue than red. Who knew?

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