Today's Slate features an article arguing that terrorism, not moral values, is the real reason for the Democrats' loss.
I may be missing something, but I just don't understand the argument:
Much has been made of the fact that "moral values" topped the list of voters' concerns, mentioned by more than a fifth (22 percent) of all exit-poll respondents as the "most important issue" of the election...Voters who cited moral issues as most important did give their votes overwhelmingly to Bush (80 percent to 18 percent)...I don't understand: voters who cite "terrorism" and "moral values" go for Bush at roughly similar margins. How exactly does an increase in "terrorism" voters translate into a Bush gain while the same increase in "moral values" voters does not? What variable is he controlling for?
Terrorism was cited by 19 percent of voters as the most important issue, and these citizens gave their votes to the president by an even larger margin than morality voters: 86 percent for Bush, 14 percent for Kerry...
These differences hold up at the state level even when each state's past Bush vote is taken into account. When you control for that variable, a 10-point increase in the percentage of voters citing terrorism as the most important problem translates into a 3-point Bush gain. A 10-point increase in morality voters, on the other hand, has no effect.