Inside the Beltway: The Bible is America’s favorite read

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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The survey of more than 3,000 young Americans finds that 32 percent of the self-identified conservatives will definitely vote in upcoming elections, compared to 22 percent of the liberals. Among those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, the number is 44 percent, compared to 35 percent of the “Barack Obama voters,” the poll states.

The pollsters themselves appeared melancholy with the overall findings from the disenchanted sector.

“Their cynicism toward the political process has never been higher,” says Trey Grayson, director of the institute. “To inspire the next generation to public service — and to improve our communities — our elected officials need to move past the bitter partisanship and work together to ensure progress and restore trust in government.”

EVOLVING POLITICS

Republicans are mulling “big tent” thinking that suggests the party court an expanded set of demographic targets as competitive midterms loom and the 2016 presidential race lumbers into focus. Consider Carl DeMaio, a Republican candidate for California’s 52nd congressional district who says he “happens” to be gay. Though he supports gay marriage issues that have proved divisive within the party, he also tells Fox News that his greater focus is on the economy, fiscal sanity, job creation and government reform.

This thinking has brought him much criticism from gay rights groups — and some surprising support from other quarters.

“I’ve found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups,” Mr. DeMaio recently told Fox News host Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary for George W. Bush.

“DeMaio has been the target of homophobic attacks. But where are those attacks coming from? It’s not always from the far-right social conservatives you’d expect; rather, it’s been from DeMaio’s left — the liberal and Democrat-affiliated groups that you’d think would be proud that an openly gay successful businessman has decided to run for office,” Ms. Perino wrote in an editorial for the network on Monday.

She notes that similar experiences often await Republican candidates who are black or female.

“Most of the Republican Party has moved, however incrementally, beyond the parochial issues of race, gender and sexuality. Will the Democrats and liberal groups manage to do the same?” Ms. Perino asks.

The Log Cabin Republicans, meanwhile, have joined the fray. The organization represents “gay and lesbian conservatives and allies,” they say.

“The animus from the gay left against Carl — and the Log Cabin Republicans — has been staggering, but expected,” says executive director Gregory T. Angelo. “Democrats see the writing on the wall, and they will do anything to maintain their stronghold on the gay vote, even if it means sacrificing their sacred cow of equality at the altar of power.”

POLL DU JOUR

68 percent of U.S. voters say they are “certain” to vote in the 2014 midterms; 15 percent will probably vote.

66 percent say they are “inclined to look around” when voting for a member of Congress; 22 percent will re-elect the incumbent.

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