Moral Values A Significant Factor In 2004 Presidential Election

The majority of voters who supported President Bush this election, cited moral values as a reason for their vote. That's over the economy and even the war in Iraq.

Many East Texans, who voted for President Bush, say they believed this election was critical to traditional family values.

Jobs, security and healthcare are typical issues people find for voting either Republican or Democrat. "I just don't think this is a good time for change," says one Republican voter.

Curtis Rhyne says voting Democrat is a way of life for him, "I've always voted Democrat. I've always worked under union contract. I'm a union man and that makes me a Democrat."

But in this election, many say morality played a big part in bringing them to the polls. "They would like for this to go back and be like the way our country has always been and stand for moral issues and God," says Mary Shoemaker.

Tim Watson, pastor of the First Baptist church in Longview, says many Christians and non-Christians believe America's basic family values have been eroded. "There was just this frustration, this restlessness on the part of Christians to say we at least got to stand up and make our voice known. It's more of just trying to turn the tide of some very disheartening and negative things that we've seen over the last few years in our country."

Pastor Tim says it's not just Christians voting on morals and many who voted for President Bush did so to affect more than just the next 4 years. "I think also the potential appointment of new supreme court judges over the next 4 years was another motivating factor for people to get out and vote."

"It's time for Christians to stand up and be bold and really stand for what they believe and not be afraid," says Ruth McAfee.

In this election, both parties could not ignore the power of a vote for moral values. Three fourths of white Christian voters supported President Bush. Those white evangelicals represented about a fifth of all voters. According to the associated press, their top issue was moral values.

Amy Tatum, reporting.