Romney won the Republican primaries in Hawaii and American Samoa—but ran third in Alabama and Mississippi. Political analysts and poll watchers are all over this outcome, opining on the implications for the three main candidates.
All this week, we’re looking at the link between faith and voters’ choices. So, today, let’s look at: Who got the white evangelical vote in the South?
Large majorities of voters in the Alabama and Mississippi Republican primaries identified themselves as white evangelical/born-again Christians, according to CNN exit polls: 75% in Alabama, 80% in Mississippi. Who drew their support?
In each state, Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney finished 1, 2, and 3 among white evangelical/born again voters. Santorum got a plurality of this voter segment, 35% in each state. Gingrich was close behind in second place, getting 32% in each state. Finally, Romney finished third with 29% of this segment in Mississippi and 27% in Alabama.
Although the differences may not seem that big, the overall pattern shows Romney’s continuing struggles attracting white evangelicals. One can only speculate what would have happened if only Santorum (or Gingrich) were his sole major opponent in the primaries.
Are you surprised by these voting patterns?
How do you see the evangelical attitude toward Romney?
How do you see religious attitudes toward Gingrich and Santorum?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue.