According to a new Gallup poll, nearly half of all Republicans are non-Hispanic whites who say they attend worship once a week or more. Only one-fifth of Democrats fall into this category and–note this–only a quarter of Independents do. By contrast, 48 percent of Independents, 44 percent of Dems, and 40 percent of Republicans are non-Hispanic whites who attend worship less frequently.
Now, if you’re trying to figure out a successful future for the GOP, the best target is those less religious, non-Hispanic white Independents. Independents are swing voters, and that’s the biggest bloc of them. They also happen to look like nine-tenths of your existing members. But you’re not going to appeal to them by pushing your pro-life, anti-gay marriage agenda. You’ve got to dial back on the social conservatism.