Agreed. There will end up being a significant drop from 2004 to 2008 AND 2012 especially adding in pop growth.
I ran 2004 numbers as well, and factored in growth of the voting age population - in raw numbers Romney will end up with more votes than Bush in 2004, there will likely end up being no more than a 1% drop in Romney’s vote from 2004 factoring in population growth.
It’s hard to make a case that more than 0.1% or 0.2% of that dtrop would be people that voted for Bush that stayed home because Romney was a RINO or Mormon.
If you leave out Texas (as there’s a native son effect) Romney did just as well in the Bible Belt as Bush in 2004.