Friday, December 7, 2012

Election 2012 Post Mortem: White Evangelicals and Support for Romney

There was considerable speculation during the 2012 primaries about the strength of support for Mitt Romney among white evangelical Protestants. A Pew Research Center analysis of exit poll data finds that white evangelical Protestants voted for Romney with as much enthusiasm as his other supporters did. In addition, white evangelical Protestants voted as heavily for Romney as they did for the GOP candidates in 2008 and 2004, and they made up about the same share of the electorate as they did in the two previous elections.

Overall, six-in-ten Romney voters said they strongly favored the GOP nominee, while about four-in-ten either said they had some “reservations” about him (28%) or described their vote for him primarily as a vote against Barack Obama (10%).

Among white evangelical Protestants who voted for Romney, the proportions are similar: 62% strongly favored him, 28% had some reservations, and 9% said they cast their ballots primarily against Obama.1 
The same pattern was found among other religious groups who voted for Romney, with one exception. Mormons who voted for Romney were more inclined to say they strongly favored him (84%); just 14% said they had some reservations about Romney, and 2% said their choice was primarily against Obama.
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