By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2006, 3:08pm PT  

Noah at Nero Fiddled brings to our attention this notable point from a story in today's WaPo on the so-called "Religous Right" turnout last Tuesday [emphasis ours]...

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, issued a statement saying that "many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year" because the Republican Party has "consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power."

In fact, white evangelical Protestants turned out this week as heavily as they did in 2004, making up roughly 24 percent of the electorate both times. "This is a solidly Republican voting bloc that there was reason to believe might stay home. Given the polling before the election, the amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger," said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

"The amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger."

As we move forward with forensic investigations of what happened last Tuesday, examinations of Exit Polling, reviews of fraud reports coming in to VR's $500k Fraud Tip Hotline and more, I believe the posited notion from my ComputerWorld article yesterday --- that Dems "might have taken 40 seats in the House instead of just 30 had they bothered to fight for an accountable, secure, transparent electoral system and instructed their candidates to concede nothing until every vote was counted, verified and audited for accuracy" --- will begin to emerge as a more and more likely case.

Such as it is for the moment, however, I think it's fair to suggest that the only reason things went as well as they did is because of the tireless Election Integrity advocates on the ground across the country this time. The bad guys knew that this time they were being watched, and it would be much harder to get away with anything. I'll associate myself with Ohio's democracy champions, Fitrakis and Wasserman who wrote that last Tuesday was a "monumental victory for the Election Protection movement."

I couldn't concur more whole-heartedly...Even with miles to go before we sleep...