Skip to comments.Evangelicals and the Coming Romney Victory
Posted on 05/09/2012 2:17:13 PM PDT by NYer
A new poll from Virginia, a key swing state, suggests that Evangelicals will help put Mitt Romney in the White House this November.
It has become a truism in recent years that Evangelicals are critical to our national elections. As New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm pointed out on April 14, Evangelicals accounted for nearly one-fourth of all ballots cast in recent presidential elections. Their lukewarm support for John McCain in 2008with many staying home on Election Day and upwards of 30 percent of their 18-29 year-olds casting votes for Obama (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research)helped give the White House to the Democrats.
Republicans have feared that Romneys Mormonism will mean even fewer Evangelical votes for their candidate in November. They cite a November 2011 Pew Forum poll that found 15 percent of Evangelicals saying they would refuse to vote for Romney simply because he is a Mormon.
Of course, McCain in 2008 won 74 percent of the white Evangelical vote, and still lost. But several things are different this time around. Even a slight increase in the percentage of Evangelicals at the polls will have significant consequences. The Baylor Religion Survey estimates that Evangelicals are now one-third of the population, or 100 million people. An increase of only 1 percent at the pollsa million votersmost likely means a two-to-one advantage for Romney among those million votes, which could tip several key states against Obama.
Now there is fresh evidence that Evangelicals in swing states are more numerous than ever, and prefer Romney to Obama by a wide margin. A March 26-April 9 poll of Virginia residents conducted by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College found that 58 percent of the Virginia population is Evangelical, and white Evangelicals prefer Romney by a 36-point spread (65 percent to 29 percent).
Not surprisingly, Virginia Evangelicals are ambivalent about Romneys religion. More than twice as many Evangelicals as non-Evangelicals in Virginia (37 percent to 16 percent) think Mormons are not Christians, and 74 percent of the Evangelicals (vs. 61 percent of non-Evangelicals) say Mormonism is very different from their own faith. Sixty-one per cent of Evangelicals think the Mormon religion is not Christian or are unsure if it is Christian, compared to only 39 percent of non-Evangelicals.
Evangelicals have always considered Mormon religion very different from their own, but sometimes for the wrong reasons. For example, they typically protest that Mormons believe in salvation by good works. Some Mormons do indeed believe this, just as many Catholics and some Protestants believe they will be saved by being good Christians. Yet the Book of Mormon teaches salvation by Christs work of grace: There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah (2 Nephi 2:8).
Yet Evangelicals have legitimate reasons to believe that Mormon beliefs are different from those of historic Christian orthodoxy. For while Mormons believe Jesus is now fully God, they do not believe he was always God. Nor do they believe in the Trinity and the traditional Christian doctrine that God created the world from nothing.
Despite these religious differences, a large majority of Virginia Evangelicalswho themselves represent a majority of Virginia voterssay they will vote for Mitt Romney, a Mormon.
But why? Why do an overwhelming majority of Virginia Evangelicals (79 percent) say that Romneys religion makes no difference in their voting for him? The answer seems to be that they have seen Obamas policies and dislike them. Sixty-six percent of Evangelicals (vs. only 50 percent of non-Evangelicals) disapprove of Obamacare. Evangelicals are just as worried about the economy and the deficit as non-Evangelicals. In fact, a majority of Evangelicals support the Tea Party (53 percent) while only a quarter (29 percent) of non-Evangelicals do. Seventy-nine percent of Evangelicals think the country is on the wrong track (vs. 66 percent of non-Evangelicals).
Evangelicals, then, will vote against Obama because of the economy and their suspicion that policies such as the recent HHS mandate requiring insurance to pay for abortions will threaten their religious freedom. They will vote for Romney because they think his policies will grow the economy without jeopardizing their deepest convictionssuch as their belief in traditional marriage as the bedrock of society.
(Contrary to the current opinion that Romney is losing the womens vote, 63 percent of Virginias Evangelicals are women, and they support him over Obama by a broad margin. This means that Romney will win the womens vote in Virginia, and probably other states with Evangelical majorities.)
If Evangelicals vote for Romney in greater numbers than for McCain in 2008and it appears that they mightit wont be the first time that Christians voted for an American president who was less than orthodox. After all, George Washington was a deist who usually referred to the deity in vague and impersonal terms. Thomas Jefferson believed the doctrines of the Trinity, atonement and original sin were essentially pagan, and rejected the possibility of miracles or resurrection. John Adams also denied the Trinity, along with most orthodox Christian doctrine, while holding to a Stoic-like resignation to fate. Lincoln and his wife attended séances, and William Howard Taft was a Unitarian who rejected the deity of Christ.
Christians who voted for these presidents showed they were looking for a Commander-in-Chief, not a theologian-in-chief. In this approach they echoed Martin Luther, who reputedly said, I would rather be governed by a wise Turk than by a foolish Christian.
So ... contrary to what we have been told by certain forum members, perhaps it wasn't the catholic vote that put O in office but the non vote of evangelicals.
This election year, we need to ban together and vote O out of office!
Christian evangelicals allowed themselves to be demoralized and that put Obama in charge of our country and our children’s future. They won’t stay home this time.
We have a golden opportunity here, to vote an abortionist, gun-control-freak, homosexualist, big government, nanny-state, regulatory state socialist out of office ...
by replacing him with an abortionist, gun-control-freak, homosexualist, big government, nanny-state, regulatory state socialist
I'm so thrilled.
You can stay home or vote for RP,none of the above, or write in whoever the he!! you want, but either way, it's a vote for Obama. Plain and simple.
Then stay home.
So Evangelicals voting 80% plus republican, is never enough for you? You still want to try and denigrate their voting in behalf of Catholics voting 54% for Obama?
I won’t stay home but I won’t vote for either democrat.
Look, if we don't get rid of Obama, he's going to drive us right off the cliff at 100 mph. (and Romney will only drive us off at 60 mph)
I'm sooooo thrilled ...
So you’ve said.
GOP-e can suck it...
Either they reverse course at the convention or lose my vote for president and any support I would have given.
I will not vote for their socialist.
The Catholic church is the same, they say that Mormonism is a non-Christian religion, yet the media is always separating the Conservative voting Evangelicals from the Christian herd, as though they are not mainstream.
Just about every Mormon involved article uses that strategy.
Once again, you mistake me for someone who gives a crap what you do. Really. Don’t care.
A vote for the kenyan is a vote for the kenyan. A vote for Mitt is a vote for Mitt. A vote for Sarah Palin is a vote for Sarah Palin. A vote for Goode is a vote for the good of our nation.
If Romney or Obama represent your beliefs, then by all means, vote your conscience. You vote for the candidate that best represents you. Your candidate champions gun control, abortions, gay marriage, and a bloated federal government, and if that's you, that's fine (well, not really -it's awful) - but you should at least be honest and open about what it is you are voting for. The fear factor freaks in the GOPe keep dragging out this dead horse every 4 years and with diminishing returns.
I'll wait for a brokered convention to produce a non-Mitt, and failing that, vote FOR a real Conservative.
The Republican Party is expendable, but Conservatism is vital.
Did po' widdle snookums getum feewings hurt?
The truth is the truth ...
The demonicRat Party is about to run an abortionist, gun-control-freak, homosexualist, big government, nanny-state, regulatory state socialist for election to a second (and last) 4-year term in office.
The Republican Party is about to run an abortionist, gun-control-freak, homosexualist, big government, nanny-state, regulatory state socialist for a first (of possibly two) 4-year term of office.
What's the deal, Deb?
Do you find that thrilling?
Do you think that's a wonderful state of affairs?
Is it ok to talk about a Romney victory now?
I'm simply doing the math. If the previous trend of evangelicals not showing up at the polls is repeated in this election, based on their disapproval of Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, then, "yes" they are at fault should Obama be re-elected.