The Times seems to think so but they’re starting from a premise which I’m not sure is true — that religious voters ever were the “easy to command” monolith they’ve been cracked up to be.

If they were, they’re not anymore.

Evangelical Protestants make up about 26 percent of the population. But according to surveys in the new book “The Faith Factor” by John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, that pie can be sliced even further. Only 12 percent of the population are the evangelical Protestants Mr. Green calls “traditionalists,” the political and theological conservatives who make up the bedrock of the religious right. Almost an equal share (11 percent of the population) are evangelical “centrists” and about 3 percent are “modernists,” groups that are politically less predictable…

[N]ew leaders [like Rick Warren and Richard Cizik] are pushing evangelicals to expand their agenda beyond abortion and homosexuality, to include issues like poverty, AIDS and global warming. Like other Americans, evangelicals tell pollsters they care a great deal about the war in Iraq, health care, immigration and security. If evangelicals more and more vote like average Americans, it becomes increasingly complex for the candidates to calculate how to win them over.

I’ll take their word for it re: that boldface part, but, er…

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