CT for Obama

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If any Super Tuesday state can be considered an upset win for Obama, it was Connecticut, where he was down double digits in the polls just a few weeks ago and came out on top by 51 percent to 47 percent. In today’s Hartford Courant, Mark Pazniokas has this secular account of how the Illinois senator did it. But there’s a religious back story.
As was the case just about everywhere else in the country, Obama had a major problem with Catholics, losing them by a margin of 59 percent to 39 percent—and Catholics constituted 42 percent of the Democratic vote. This Catholic gap was, however, more than offset by Obama’s success in every other category—62 percent of the Protestants (including 55 Percent of white Protestants), 61 percent of the Jews, and 67 percent of religious “others” (Hindus, Buddhists, etc. though not Muslims). Interestingly, those with no religion divided pretty evenly, 52 percent to 47 percent for Obama–a smaller margin than he won this group by in a number of other states.
The Jewish vote in Connecticut is particularly noteworthy, given the strong preference of Jews for Clinton in New York, New Jersey, California, and (earlier) in Florida. Jews in Massachusetts broke for Obama as well, though much less strongly. Was this a New England thing? Perhaps it is not out of place to mention that the largest concentration of Jews in Connecticut is to be found on the north side of West Hartford, in close and pretty harmonious proximity to the largest concentration of African Americans in Connecticut, in the north end of Hartford and in Bloomfield. Let us also bear in mind that nowhere in the country is there a larger concentration of members of the United Church of Christ, the Mainline Protestant denomination of which Obama is a member—and whose annual convention he addressed in Hartford last summer.