November 6, 2012
The Evangelical Electoral Map 2012
Exit polling is sketchier this time around, but there are some noteworthy developments.
(UPDATE: Last night's data was apparently early and incomplete exit poll results. It would have been nice had CNN labeled it as such. We're reworking the map to reflect the more recent data.)
It's a bad year for trying to watch how evangelicals voted, at least compared to the last few election cycles. The National Election Pool, which conducts exit polls for major media outlets, decided to exclude 19 states from its polling this election. But in the remaining states, few surveys are asking voters whether they identify as evangelicals (or born-again Protestants).
So the "Evangelical Electoral Map" for 2012, posted below, looks a lot emptier than it did four years ago. (We've grayed out the states where there's exit poll data available, but not about evangelicals per se. And I've cleared out the states that didn't have any exit poll data.)
Highlights of the exit polls on evangelical voters, compared to 2008:
Florida: Nearly identical to 2008.
Mississippi: Born-again/evangelical Christians were a larger percentage of the voters, and voted for Romney more than they did McCain.
Alabama: About the same as 2008.
Ohio: Slightly larger percentage of the electorate, and (against the trend in other states were evangeilcals were surveyed) more supportive of Obama.
Indiana: Smaller percentage of voters than in 2008, but dramatically higher support of the Republican candidate.
Michigan: About the same percentage of the voters, but significantly more support for Romney over McCain.
Wisconsin: About the same percentage of the voters as 2008, but more Republican.
Minnesota: Somewhat lower percentage of voters compared to four years ago, but dramatically more supportive of the Republican candidate.
Missouri: About the same percentage of voters, but much more supportive of Romney than McCain.
Kansas: Bucking the trend, evangelical support for each party's candidate was the same as it was four years ago, but evangelical makeup of the electorate changed significantly--down 7 points.
Colorado: No significant changes from 2008, though the evangelical makeup of the electorate was slightly up, and slightly less supportive of the Republican candidate.
Nevada: A higher percentage of evangelical voters in 2012, with considerably less support for Romney than McCain. (Obama's numbers stayed pretty similar.)
(Note: These comparisons have been updated, due to apparently better exit poll numbers from 2008's exit polls.)