Faith and Politics: Does faith matter more than ever before? Santorum lowers his head in prayer at an Arizona Republican Party fundraiser in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 21, 2012. Photo by Gage Skidmore with permission for reuse with attribution.Does it seem like a candidate’s faith is more important this election year than it has been before? Faith played a big role in the primary results from Super Tuesday last week, and it’s expected that faith will also loom large in the primaries this week.

Before we discuss the details, what’s your view of faith and religion? Should a candidate’s faith play a major role in the candidate’s electability? Does it matter to you?

The ballot-box choices of white evangelical Protestants are in the media spotlight, and some feel that how they vote will determine the election. Analysts at the Pew Research Center note that Romney continues to have mixed results with white evangelicals, getting less support from them than from non-evangelical voters.
The former Massachusetts governor did win the evangelical vote in two states—but one was the Bay State itself and the other was Virginia where his chief rivals were not on the ballot.

Santorum has his own struggles. While he attracts the white evangelical vote, he often isn’t the favorite of Catholic voters—and he is Catholic. In Georgia, for example, both Romney and Gingrich got substantially more votes from Catholics than Santorum did where only 21% of Catholic voters cast their ballots for him.
In Ohio, Romney was the favorite of Catholics, getting 44% of their vote, compared to 31% for Santorum.
In Tennessee, Santorum edged out Romney by one percentage point, getting 36% of the Catholic vote, compared to Romney’s 35%.

How important is a candidate’s faith?

How much should faith & politics mix?

How do you see current voting patterns?

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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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