There are some very interesting exit polls from Ohio, a state President Bush carried, and Pennsylvania, a Kerry state. Twenty-three percent of Bush voters in Ohio stated "moral values" as the number one issue determining their vote. In raw numbers this equaled 643,113 votes. What is interesting about this is that in neighboring Pennsylvania, a state with a very similar voter demographic, 18 percent of Bush voters said "moral values" were their number one issue. Had Bush garnered only 18 percent rather than 23 percent of voters for moral values in Ohio he would have lost a raw number of 139,807 votes--enough for Kerry to have carried Ohio ... and the presidency.
Note that Ohio had a gay marriage amendment on the ballot and Pennsylvania did not. Another factor is that in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, a pro-abortion senator, was on the ballot with Bush. Pro-family/life voters were something less than inspired to go to the polls when the only choice they were given for the Senate race was between two pro-abortion candidates. This was especially demoralizing when the pro-life candidate, Pat Toomey, was defeated in the Republican primary by a coalition of Bush and Pennsylvania's other Republican senator, Rick Santorum.
The message here is clear: pro-family issues win US elections. Not sure if they do in NZ though.