It’s much more complex than that. Because “evangelicals” aren’t monolithic. Or so the latest Pew report seems to say:
Overall, the total share of Bush’s vote from Evangelicals
in 2004 was the same as in 2000 (40 percent); the Evangelical share of
the Kerry ballots was 14 percent, up slightly from Gore’s 13 percent in
Foreign policy was rated as “very important” to the votes of 80 percent
of the entire sample, and reported as the “most important” for 35
percent. Both of these figures are far greater than for social issues.
However, there is very little variation in relative importance of
foreign policy across the religious landscape, with the highest group
scoring 88 percent (Jews) and the lowest 71 percent (Latino
Overall, 58 percent of the entire sample said economic issues were very
important to their vote, and 33 percent said it was top priority. So,
economic issues ranked second, behind foreign policy and ahead of
Thus, economic issues were important to Kerry’s strongest backers,
presenting a contrast to social issues, which were a priority among the
top Bush supporters.
The report contains some small problems of methodology, including what
seems like a tautological definition of evangelical and traditionalist
(“For evangelical Protestants, traditionalists were those who
claimed to be fundamentalist, evangelical, Pentecostal, or charismatic….”), but it seems overall quite a sound piece.