The "jobs" side often wins:Jobs were most heavily favored in locations where lower incomes prevail: “Evangelical Epicenters,” where the divide was 42 percent for jobs and 25 percent for the environment; “Service Worker Centers,” where jobs were favored by a 40 to 30 percent margin; and “Minority Central,” where it was 39 to 30 percent. (In all cases, the balance of respondents favored an equal emphasis.) These figures may not mean that environmental politics is a luxury of the rich, but it does suggest that the economically vulnerable are worried about how they’d fare in the labor market in the event that a government action shuts down a mine or factory.
In Policy Review couple of months ago, David Brady, Douglas Rivers and Laurel Harbridge wrote:
Very few Republicans actually become Democrats. Only 1.2 percent of the strong Republicans and 8.0 percent of the weak Republicans from 2004 say they are Democrats or lean Democratic in 2008. Instead, the decline of Republican strength occurs when strong Republicans become weak Republicans, weak Republicans become independents, and independents lean more Democratic or even becoming Democrats. These voters are not necessarily permanently lost to the Republican Party, but this has the look of an emerging party-realignment, with the Republican base shrunken substantially.
More recently, a Pew analysis found:
But these Republican losses have not translated into substantial Democratic gains. So far in 2009, 35% of adults nationwide identify as Democrats, about the same as in 2008 (36%). While GOP identification has fallen seven points since 2004, the Democrats have gained only two points over that period. Instead, a growing number of Americans describe themselves as independents, 36% in 2009 compared with just 32% in 2008 and 30% in 2004.
And a new Pew survey hold a glimmer of good news for social conservatives:
Public attitudes on a pair of contentious national issues - gun control and abortion - have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have been driven in part by relatively large shifts among men, while opinions among women have not changed very much.