This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Yesterday PPP released a poll on the GOP presidential primary in South Carolina with a lot of very interesting
crosstabs on views (e.g. evolution, global warming) and candidate
preferences, including Tea Party support–but no religious breakdown
whatsoever. With two Mormon candidates (including one frontrunner), a
couple of Catholics, and major league evangelicals, how is this not
Four years ago, 60 percent of the voters in South Carolina’s Republican primary described themselves as evangelical or born-again, and of those 43 percent voted for Mike Huckabee and 27 percent for John McCain. (Mitt Romney picked up only 11 percent of the evangelicals, while Fred Thompson garnered 15 percent.) McCain won the primary narrowly–and the lion’s share of the state’s delegates–by far outstripping Huckabee among non-evangelicals, 43 percent to 14 percent. (Romney picked up 20 percent of the latter.) McCain also dominated Huckabee among Catholics, 45 percent to 11 percent, with Romney picking up 24 percent.
What PPP shows this year is a massive shift in GOP preference since Perry joined the race. Back in June–before the Bachmann bubble had fully expanded–it was (among those in double digits) Romney at 30 percent followed by Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich at 15 percent, Bachmann at 13 percent, and Ron Paul at 10 percent. Now it’s Perry at 36 percent, Romney at 16 percent, and Bachmann at the same 13 percent. Romney has, in other words, reverted to the level of support he got last time around in the Palmetto State (15 percent).
My guess is that Romney’s religious mix is the same as four years ago and that Bachmann doesn’t have many non-evangelicals, while Perry has put together pluralities of both evangelicals and non-evangelicals. Catholics, who last time constituted 13 percent of the GOP primary vote, may not have settled anywhere. But the point is that we don’t know any of this because PPP didn’t ask any questions about religion. Especially given all the hoopla about frontrunner Perry’s pitch for the religious vote and his theocratic connections, what ails these people?