Another thing…

The Pew Forum offers something of note — voter composition by religious affiliation (according to exit polls).

Romney won among all religious communities except Hispanic Catholics, Black Protestants, and “other [non-Jewish/Christian] faiths.” There’s a confirmation of demographic swing against the GOP there, which isn’t surprising. More interesting to me is that the Evangelicals turned out for Romney (79% vs. 20% for Obama) in greater numbers than in 2008 (73% vs. 26%) and 2004. This would seem to suggest that there was no Evangelical anti-Mormon problem for Romney, at least in the composition of the electorate. White Christians can vote for a Mormon.


  1. Even MORE interesting to me is that Bush 2004 was more popular with Mormons than Romney 2012 (80% vs. 78%). Romney was more popular with Evangelicals than he was with Mormons!

  2. Margin of error on both, though perhaps. More accurate to say that Romney was at least as popular with Evangelicals as with Mormons.

  3. Note that we’re talking about WHITE Evangelicals (and Mormons aren’t divided into white/black/hispanic subgroups). Still, I agree that those numbers are interesting and significant.

  4. .

    I’m still interested in the fact that not only did I not vote for Romney (for whom I was a big booster four years ago) but I also voted my first straight ticket EVER. Perplexing. I doubt this is the new normal for me, but there you go.

  5. To counter that, Rich Lowry at National Review points out there were 7 million less white voters this election than the last one.

    Could it be (just speculating) that White Evangelicals couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Mitt for his Mormonism, and would never vote for Obama, and just stayed home? Thus, the Evangelicals who did vote sided with Romney in larger percentages…but the shortfall of white voters who stayed home lost him the election?

  6. Keep in mind this is based on the unweighted exit poll data. It is not a representative sample of Mormons, but rather of a sample of voters that were captured in the CBS exit polls. Typically the Mormons in that sample are from Utah, Idaho, etc. where there are enough of us to fall into the exit-polling net. This seems to be saying that Mormons in those areas did not universally embrace Romney.

    It is possible that many Mormons who voted for Obama did not show up in the exit polling, since Mormons are rare outside of the intermountain west. Although they do not show in the exit polling, their votes matter more. A vote for Obama in Utah is wasted. A vote for Obama in Virginia made a huge difference.

  7. Hispanics proved to be his demise. He messed with the wrong ethnic group at the beginning of his campaign. Let that be a warning to other Republicans.

  8. JTH, I thought of that but I’m not sure how to test for it. Where is Nate Silver?

  9. He’s everywhere, RJH. And nowhere.

  10. Nate Silver is love.

  11. Coke Drinker says:

    It was painful, but now we’re as mainstream as Catholics and Jews.

  12. I agree that there probably were many white evangelicals who couldn’t bring themselves to cast a vote for Brother Romney and that their absence sealed at least the popular vote for Pres. Obama. I think most of them lived in states that were automatic for the Republican party, so I’m not sure it impacted the electoral vote and the actual result of the election, but I think it killed the debate this time over the primacy of the popular vote.

    Speculation, I know, but delicious irony, if true – and very telling about political bedfellows.

  13. I think that Nate Silver and Arithmetic were the biggest winners this election.

  14. Ray, that is indeed speculation. I just don’t know how you can know why the white vote was somewhat down. The only thing we do know is that among voters, Romney was up among Evangelicals.

  15. Typical. “It’s not that Romney had a shaky platform, a dubious past with his position regarding key political issues, and ideas that were not in the interest of the majority of the country. He has been a victim of Evangelicals that cannot bring themselves to vote for him because he is a Mormon. Romney’s loss is but another act of intolerance from Evangelicals against Mormons.” WHATEVER.

  16. #14 – Agreed, RJH. As I said, it is pure speculation.

    #15 – Manuel, if that was directed at my comment, please re-read my commment. I didn’t blame evangelicals for Romney’s loss. In fact, I said that even if I’m right it didn’t have any effect on the outcome. I think he lost the electoral college vote, which is the only vote that matters, for exactly the reasons you listed.

    Also, just for the record, it was speculation, but it was based on personal conversations I’ve had with many of my evangelical friends. Many of those who live in states where the outcome was a foregone conclusion didn’t vote – and it was Romney’s religion that was the only reason for them personally. If their electoral college votes had been in question at all, they would have voted for Romney.

    That is all I said, so, again, if #15 was pointed at my comment, my blunt response would be, “Typical. WHATEVER.”

  17. Well, sorry for my tone. It just sounded too much like the typical Mormon bubble of thought I see time and again when the stark reality outside is shining bright. Especially when the data in the Pew Forum link shows the very contrary and the issue is on headlines all over the country. Even prominent GOP spokespeople like Shawn Hannity, Condoleezza Rice and even John Boehner have pointed out the Republican views on immigration combined with the change in demographics are costing the GOP.

  18. Agreed, Manuel.

  19. Bill-O said it best on Faux “News”: “The white establishment is now a minority.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  20. Or maybe white Evangelicals had a bigger problem with Obama than they did with Romney – which would be an interesting question to tease out. (The proportion of people that were voting against Obama was in some exit polls three times the proportion that were voting against Obama, or something like 37% to 12%, respectively.)

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