If they did, it’s the first big election they’ve won in a long time.

Mild-mannered Christian versus flamboyant gay star in a pageant setting? There’s something soooo familiar about this. Presumably this means Allen will be the tabloids’ new hate object, victimized by all appropriate smears and embarrassing family revelations pertaining thereto. Adam Lambert’s loss is Carrie Prejean’s gain!

“Adam has the potential to be a star so overall you could say he deserves to win,” Simon Cowell told Tarts on Wednesday afternoon. “But this is ‘American Idol,’ anything could happen and we could have an upset.”

And an upset for Cowell it clearly was — the outspoken judge was the only one not to give Allen a standing ovation when he was announced the 2009 winner as determined by a record-breaking 100 million votes…

According to an ‘Idol’ insider, support for Kris most likely surged over the last week when Danny Gokey (who was extremely open about his involvement with the church) was voted off and thus Christians turned their full devotion to Allen who epitomizes the all-American, talented and moralistic role model.

An alternate theory: In an age of economic panic, the public longs for the soothing presence of a soft-spoken dork with a guitar.

A better argument can be made that we had a moment—when 100 million people vote for something, it’s bigger than a singing contest—that harkens to back to Nixon’s Silent Majority speech 40 years ago. “There’s a certain restiveness in Americans in times of uncertainty,” top Democratic pollster Doug Schoen told me minutes after the Allen vote. “People may well make decisions that aren’t obvious and clear. They’re opting for a choice they think is safe, less risky.” In other words, with the economy roiling, the role of government shifting, the banking and auto industries in freefall, the definition of marriage in flux and a health-care overhaul on deck, many feel good dialing and texting on behalf of an aw-shucks strummer from Conway, Arkansas. Bob Dylan and The Jefferson Airplane made headlines in the ’60s, but Pat Boone and Henry Mancini sold more records…

There’s some good news in our data for those hoping to avoid a repeat of Nixon-era divisions. Yes, the Blue State/Red State correlations largely held up: 11 of the 12 states that delivered Lambert the most votes, based on the Daily Beast’s projections, went Democrat in 2008, while Allen overperformed in the Republicans’ states. But it was interesting to see how relatively competitive Allen ran in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, while Lambert held his own in Texas and Georgia. The red and blue states might indeed already be Obama-era purple states, when it comes to music.

I’ve never watched the show but nearly all the chatter online that I’ve stumbled across held that Lambert was by far the greater talent. Tell the truth, “Idol” fans, did he get gypped? If so, why are they letting the public vote weigh so heavily in the final competition? It’s the California budget initiative redux: If you have people around who get paid to make these decisions, there’s no sense dumping it in the public’s lap at the moment of truth.