It isn't because Obama is the Anti-Christ. More Americans than ever before identify as having "no religion". According to a recent Pew survey, the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow, as 20% of Americans and 33% of adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated today. This include 13 million atheists and agnostics (almost 6% of the U.S. public),and almost 33 million people who have no particular religious affiliation (14%). What does that mean for Americans?
As I've noted before, this seems to go along with the "Bowling Alone" theory. This theory says, in short, that Americans are gradually losing their sense of broad community, and retreat to their own individual pursuits. Social and religious institutions are losing adherents, and as a result community cohesion suffers. The author of the book points to several causes, including the rise in working mothers, as well as the increase in technology. The Pew survey points out that this increase in the religiously unaffiliated is concentrated amongst those under thirty, where a third claim no religious affiliation, as opposed to those who are older than 60, where less than 10% claim no religious affiliation.
This loss in religious affiliation is particularly bad news for Republicans. The Republican party is already facing a demographic wall, ethnically. As minority population rises, and the share of working class whites that Republicans traditionally draw a large percentage of their base from decreases, Republicans were already scrambling to find a new source of votes from which to draw. However, now news that a another traditional voting bloc, white evangelical Christians, is also shrinking dramatically, can't be good to hear.
In the very short term, such news works in favor of the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. In years past he could never have plausibly been the standard bearer for the Republican party, as many evangelical Christians do not feel that Mormons are Christian, and some even feel that Mormonism is a cult. They would have not voted for him in the numbers that he enjoys now. Luckily for Romney, today there is much less emphasis on the personal religious beliefs of the candidates than in the past, as religion is no longer the centerpiece of many communities.
I believe that sooner or later this ebbing of the religious community will cause a split between the two major components of the Republican party, the "business wing" and "religious wing" of the Republican party. They are barely tolerating each other as is today, with the business wing relying on social issues to drive the religious wing to the polls. The business wing is firmly in the leadership position, with most of the presidential nominees hailing from that wing (George W. Bush being the only possible exception to that). The rise of the Tea Party has already shown where the cracks are in the Republican Party, and as the business wing gradually realizes that the religious wing is shrinking, will they jettison the religious, perhaps forging another coalition, or will the business wing depart themselves, perhaps worming their way into the Democratic party?