Only one candidate, Baptist minister Mike Huckabee, went to church on the Sunday before Election Day. And candidate Rudy Giuliani, who is Catholic, went to a synagogue and donned a yarmulke.
The lack of so many Republican candidates campaigning on social issues or sitting in church is a sign, strategists say, of the importance of the economy -- and the fractured and potentially weakening influence of evangelical voters, who have comprised anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of the GOP primary electorate.
"The evangelical vote is not what it used to be," Atlanta-based pollster Matt Towery of Insider/Advantage said. He pointed out that since 2006, Christian conservative candidates and campaigns have lost when faced with moderate opponents…
"I don't remember seeing anything like this," said David "DJ" Johnson, a former state Republican Party chief. "It's intriguing. In a Republican primary, the candidates stop at a large church. That's what you usually do. But they didn't, so they must have good reasons for that."
It is very difficult to imagine that the market ideology of the corporatist wing of the Republican party can continue endlessly to loot and steal to the benefit of only a privileged few as they have done more and more since the Reagan Administration if their generational coalition with millions of duped evangelicals and other social conservatives fractures, especially now that shifting demographic realities and greater enlightenment among younger voters are starting to deprive Republicans of the "benefits" of stubborn institutional racism in the South.