The American Religious Identification Survey came out yesterday for 2008, and it turns out that, as a country, the United States is less religious than we used to be.
I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure that somewhere, someone is taking this data and plotting it on a map and coming up with the conclusions that the more blue states tend to be even less religious than the red states. I'm waiting for the CD and county breakdowns.
So here's my thought: what if even the red states become less religious? What does that do to the IIE's ability to organize through churches? My guess is that the more right wing someone is, the more likely that they are religious: that is, the evangelical base of the Republican party isn't wavering. Not now. Not ever. Therefore, it may be that by being able to organize in churches, it could conceivably increase their wing of the party. This may become important as the IIE feels out which branch will become their most dominant.
A side point is that as people become less religious, they become more moderate in their views of "social issues", thus leading to the possibility of compromise. Things like "abortion should be legal and rare" rather than outlawed. My hope for this moderation comes from Republican Nancy Reagan, who yesterday praised President Obama's lifting of the stem cell ban.
It's hard to quanitfy, but there is no discounting the affect of the religious right on the Republican party over the past 30+ years. It's hard to imagine that if more and more people give up religion that this won't also have a profound affect on that party.