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The take-away from Michigan so far as religion is concerned is that more born-again white Protestants–as good a screen for evangelicals as you could want–voted for Romney than for Huckabee, according to the exit poll. How does this square with the finding in the recent ABC/Washington Post national poll that Romney’s Mormonism really really dampens evangelicals’ enthusiasm for voting for him. (Specifically, the differential among those evangelicals more and less enthusiastic by the prospect of the first Mormon president was minus 39 points.) The point is that just because some characteristic of a candidate makes you less enthusiastic doesn’t mean you won’t vote for him. Take McCain’s age; maybe in China it would have enhanced enthusiasm levels, but not in the U.S. In any event, Romney’s ability to more than hold his own among evangelicals, at least in a state where he’s sort of known and that’s suffering economically, should be of some comfort to him. Meanwhile, Huck’s inability to break out of the box of super-frequent churchgoing born-agains in Northern places like NH and Michigan must be giving his folks serious heartburn.

  • Kurt

    I think that might be correct and I certainly hope this theory that some Americans would not vote for Romney because of his religion is false. However, I would also consider that primary voters are more engaged politically and might be more willing to vote on issues while in the general election there still is an element that will stay home because of Romney’s religion.

  • JH

    LEt me say I think the “mormon” thing is overblown. It is peoples minds but I don’t sense it is a huge issue
    As to Huckabee a few thoughts. I think , as I mention the above post, that the reporting of the issue of Huckabee and the Religious issue has been horrible. THe Noval article on Huckabee and Baptisst being the worst offender where in his ignorance he totally puts a secular political spin on the terms Liberal and conservative in the SOuthern Baptist context.
    In one blow he mis educated millions about a very interesting part and still ongoing battle in Evangelical American history
    As to the races. TO be honest it will be a while before we can see if different religious groups are turned off by Huckabee.
    Huckabee having a lack of money had to go to groups that could self Moblize. Evangelicals and HOme Schoolers are big at this.
    In New Hampshire he spent hardly no money. YOu could not expect three days of being on the stump to change that. I also think there was a consensus by anti Romeny folks to rally around one person
    In Michigan Huckabee had not been there in a year. Had not sent one piece of direct mail in 9 months into Michigan targeting their voters. He had to go again quickly to these groups that could self moblize
    As a Catholic I am interested in his Catholic support. Sadly the Louisiana primary is a mess. THere are only 11 polling placeces for the entire state and you have to vote between 5 and 8. It is all set up for the establishment to get bodies there. IT would be a wonderful place to see how Huckabee would do among Catholic conservative voters. Sadly the sample will be too small
    In FLorida the largely Catholic hispanic population will not be motivated by religion issue as the media is framing it. I suspect Cuba and the Immigration fight will be their main concern. Sadly , and I hate to say this, Huck as moved more to the right and thus will lose much of this.
    So it will be some time I feel before we can see how Huckabee does with non Evangelical voters. I for one do not think he has a “Catholic” problem.
    I have learned one thing though. THe media and sadly many of our fellow countrymen have no ideas what their neighbors believe. I have never seen Fundamentalist, Northern Baptist, SOuthern Baptist, Evangelicals,Pentecostals, Charismatics, Reformed and the in particular the Dutch Christian voters of Michigan all put in some big one massive one group and it being implied they are think the same.