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Christian Conservatives Played Major Role in Midterm Election

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Exit polls from Tuesday's historic midterm election is showing that the high turn out among evangelicals, Catholics and other social conservatives played a major role in sweeping the GOP into power. According to a post election survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the largest single constituency in the electorate in the 2010 midterm elections was self-identified evangelicals, who comprised 29 percent of the vote and cast an astonishing 78 percent of their ballots for Republican candidates. The turnout by conservative people of faith represented a five percent increase in evangelical turnout over 2006 - which was more than enough to eliminate Democratic gains in that year -  and was the largest ever recorded in a midterm election. Because the evangelical vote is concentrated in the South and the Midwest, these voters had an exaggerated impact on GOP gains, contributing to the vast majority of U.S. Senate and House victories by Republican candidates.  The survey also found that 52 percent of all self-identified members of the Tea Party movement are conservative evangelicals.  This is consistent with polling data by other organizations conducted before Election Day. Evangelicals were joined by frequent-church-attending Roman Catholic voters, who constituted 12 percent of the vote and cast 58 percent of their ballots for Republican candidates, as opposed to 40 percent of their ballots for Democrats, according to CNN exit polling. "People of faith turned out in the highest numbers in a midterm election we have ever seen, and they made an invaluable contribution to the historic results, including the election of a Republican majority in the House and significant gains in U.S. Senate seats, governorships, and hundreds of state legislative seats and local offices," said Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.  "This survey, along with numerous exit polls, makes clear that those who ignore or disregard social conservative voters and their issues do so at their own peril." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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