The Folklore of Election '04

Few political rituals are so honored as overreading the results of an election. In the rush to explain this one, at least six myths have taken root:

A tidal wave of churchgoers won the day. As Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin notes, the percentage of the voting electorate that attends church once a week was 42%--precisely what it was in 2000. And President Bush's percentage of that vote was 58%, up a mere point from 2000. Bush's greatest gains came among voters who attend church less often, including an increase of 4 percentage points of those who never go.

People based their...

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