Mitt Romney holds huge lead among white Catholics and evangelicals

While President Obama maintains a slim edge overall against Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee holds a huge lead among … Continued

While President Obama maintains a slim edge overall against Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee holds a huge lead among white evangelicals and Roman Catholics, according to a new poll.

Obama lost ground in the past month to Romney among Protestants and Catholics generally, according to a poll released Tuesday (April 17) by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Obama’s support has dropped among Protestants (5 percentage points) and Catholics (8 percentage points) since mid-March.

Romney now possesses a particularly large lead over Obama among white evangelicals (73 to 20 percent) and white Catholics (57 to 37 percent). Religiously unaffiliated Americans largely support Obama (67 to 26 percent).

Americans who attend religious services weekly favor Romney (56 to 38 percent) while those who attend less often support Obama (56 to 37 percent).

In 2008, Obama won Catholic voters overall, reversing recent trends, and made small inroads among evangelicals, three-quarters of whom still backed GOP nominee John McCain.

Hot-button issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage have not played significant roles thus far in the 2012 campaign, but the faith of particular candidates — particularly Romney’s Mormonism — emerged as an early flash point.

Now, nine in 10 white evangelicals say they support Romney, with 84 percent saying there is no chance they will change their mind, according to the Pew poll.

Meanwhile, the nation’s Catholic bishops have waged a high-profile battle with the Obama administration over a new federal mandate that requires employers to offer birth control coverage to employees. Though Obama has promised exemptions for religious groups, the bishops call the mandate an affront to religious liberty, and prominent evangelicals have rallied to their side.

While Obama’s overall advantage has narrowed since March, when he held a 12-point lead, the Pew pollsters said “there is little to suggest a specific problem or campaign event as having a critical effect.”

Obama holds a large lead (56 to 37 percent) among voters who say birth control is a very important issue.

In general, however, social issues are a low priority for most Americans, according to Pew, with more than 80 percent listing the economy and jobs as the concerns that will determine their vote in November.

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  • persiflage

    I wouldn’t bestow an ounce of accuracy to this article. While there’s no doubt that white evangelicals and assorted fundamentalists will vote Romney as the ant-Obama, a majority of Catholics will not vote for Mitt Romney for the same reason. I personally think Obama will capture the majority of Catholic votes again.

    What exactly does Romney offer Catholics? Absolutely nothing.

    Catholics practice birth control at their on discretion and do not typically support the anti-woman, anti-choice agenda of the the religious rightwing or the Catholic Council of Bishops.. They are not one issue ideologues in the same way that many Protestant evangelicals often are.

    I don’t buy it……….

  • UsedToBeDem

    While I am happy to see Romney ahead in polls, Enough with all these polls. Next there will be a poll of people with curly hair vs straight hair …. This is going to be a long campaign season! Let’s really look at polls in September. Love Romney and his wife Ann Romney .

  • catatonicjones

    This is what a Romney presidency promises – more christianist judges throughout the land, christianist policies, a tearing down of the wall of separation. It’s not something we should wonder about anymore, he’s making it plain to everyone.

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