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June 3, 2011

Evangelicals: Less Likely to Vote for Gay or Mormon Candidates

Mitt Romney formally announced his bid for the Republican nomination for president yesterday in New Hampshire, but a new poll suggests that the former governor of Massachusetts may still face an uphill climb to secure the votes of evangelicals because of his Mormon faith.

The May 25-30 survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked people how they would vote for presidential candidates with different traits. The survey found that a third of evangelicals (34 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for someone who is Mormon, compared to Mainline Protestants (19 percent) or Catholics (16 percent).

The findings were similar to Pew's 2007 survey when Romney attempted a previous run. With evangelicals making up a major voting bloc in the GOP primaries, particularly in early states like Iowa and South Carolina, a reluctance to vote for a Mormon candidate could hurt Romney. It could also affect fellow Mormon (albeit with different level of commitment) former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman who may still enter the race.

Overall, 25 percent of voters would be less likely to vote for a Mormon. Liberal Democrats were most opposed to a Mormon candidate (41 percent). Pew found that among the voters who were opposed to a Mormon candidate, about two-third of them said there was “no chance” they would support Romney for president.

0603PewMormon.JPG

Evangelicals were also much more likely to oppose a gay candidate, with nearly two-thirds of them said they would oppose such a candidate. This is over twice the opposition among either Mainline Protestants (30 percent) or Catholics (25 percent).

Unlike opposition to a Mormon candidate, views of a possible homosexual candidate have changed over the past four years. In 2007, nearly half of Americans (46 percent) said they would be a less likely to vote for a homosexual candidate. In this survey, that percentage dropped to just one-third, and all groups showed less opposition to a gay candidate. Evangelicals also dropped (71 to 65 percent), but this was less than the change among other groups. Some of the largest changes in the two surveys came among African Americans (53 to 34 percent), those over 65 years of age (59 to 40 percent), and conservative Republicans (73 to 58 percent).

Of all the traits Pew asked about, the one the public found most negative was atheism. About 60 percent of Americans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who “does not believe in God," about the same percentage as in 2007.

Whether these views actually affect how people vote is an open question. On the one hand, some people may be hesitant to offer an answer that could be seen as intolerant, so the poll may be under-reporting biases against candidates. On the other hand, research on intolerance finds that what people say often sounds more intolerant than people actually act when push comes to shove. In their ideal world, voters may not want to support a candidate with certain traits, but a ballot rarely offers ideal choices.

Editor's Note: Pew identifies evangelicals as white, non-Hispanic Protestants who described themselves as "born-again or evangelical." Mainline Protestants are other white, non-Hispanic Protestants. For comparison, reported percentages on “Catholics” includes only white, non-Hispanic Catholics. Around 18 percent of Americans are evangelicals by this definition. The margin of error for each religious group is larger than for the sample as a whole. The results are descriptive; religious differences could be due to partisanship, ideology, income, or other factors.

Comments

We NEED to get a clue on this. So much anti glbt teaching has gone on in our churches since the late 80's and we now believe what have been told instead of what the original language of the Bible says.
When "pervert" becomes "homosexual" from the 1984 NIV to the 1991 version, is anyone asking "what???" Please just search my name and go to my blog site and read ANYTHING there especially the VERSES tab.
We need to stop this crazy Biblical ignorance that is keeping people from God and destroying lives. The letter to Christian parents of glbt youth got over 10k reads, I think this is really what Jesus would do.
Stop just believing what you are told--do the study for yourself. As if a life depended on it, because . . . it does.

Sad that once again white evangelicals are exposed to the public as the most bigoted, intolerant, and discriminatory segment of society. Instead of being known for their love, they are known as filled with primitive prejudice and bigotry against fellow human beings. IT is a bad witness. Kudoes to Catholics and mainline Protestants for banishing irrational prejudices and biases. Also, kudos to the 1/2 of white evangelicals who are not bigoted homophobes. The great news is that at least toward our gay and lesbian brethren, society is making rapid progress toward inclusion and love.

Kathy, I guess if anyone wants to hunt and peck through versions and then on top of it, particular years of particular versions to fit what the READER wants it to say, instead of what the Hebrew or Greek is really saying, you really don't care what GOD is saying. When it says "homosexual" in all the main versions, and then something else in one particular year of one particular version, that is when YOU should say "what????" Good for you, you found one year of one version that fits your political correctness. The truth is, God is clear no matter what version you use, unless maybe you use some glbt cult version. God isn't changing on this no matter how many studies come out. God laughs at man's "wisdom" because it is nothing compared to the truth.

However, the latest NIV says:
deut 22:5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

romans 1:27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Javier-Jesus told sinners "to go and sin no more". He NEVER tolerated sin. You wouldn't have liked Him either.

Interesting, but it seems like there could be other biases that aren't addressed in the questions. For example, it seems that most white evangelicals -- despite Biblical warnings on greed -- will vote Republican. Did those polled answer that they would be less likely to vote for a gay candidate because of a personal bias, or because in their mind a gay candidate is far more likely to be a Democrat, and therefore its a matter of party bias and not personal bias?

As an Evangelical who happens to vote Democrat, I'm less likely to vote for a Mormon, but then again, the only Mormon I know of that I could be voting for or against is Mitt Romney, yet if I lived in Nevada, I'd probably vote for Harry Reid.

Like I said, interesting, but too many variables not addressed.

Javier,

You read selectively. You say that evangelicals are the most "intolerant." Yet the article clearly states "Liberal Democrats were most opposed to a Mormon candidate (41 percent)." I guess you are wearing your own special lenses.

Interesting that white evangelicals, many of whom seem to hang on every word spoken by Glenn Beck, a Mormon, have a problem with voting for a Mormon. I also find it interesting that the survey divides our Hispanic and Black voters when calling a group evangelical or catholic. From what I see in my church on Sunday, we are all brothers and sisters and all say we attend the same church.

Therefore, the people I worship with on Sunday should be all be included in the polled group. Why not? Isn't that slanting the poll ny color and nationality?

So we see that it is the evangelical christians who are the most bigoted people in the various voting blocks. Of courser, for the most part the Evan. Christians have the same religious culture that supported slavery and gave us segregation and the still in some places flourishing KKK.

the Mormons are strange. They oppose gay people getting equality under the law, while at the same time forgetting so conveniently that their ancestors were mass murdered and driven out of the USAa to then Indian country like Utah. And to complete the circle, there is still plenty of animosity toward mormons.

And the catholics - perhaps one of the most progressive groups, while they belong to one of the most regressive churches. The catholic hierarchy has been livid about gays being treated equally under our laws.

While the german born pope in 2009 UNexcommunicated a bishop Williamson. Williamson was kicked out of the church of England for denying the Holacaust

And if you google

"Vatican bank scandal" you will see how the vaticans own bank has been involved in money laundering for , believe it or not, the Mafia.

No wonder the church has yet to use its vast resources to crush the mafia.

Every good catholic who believes in Jesus commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself, should stop contributing to the church.

The lust for money is the root of all evil. Maybe when the church is desperate, it will change for the better

Walt, you are so biased and blinded by prejudices, it's not even funny. Republicans are greedy? I'd be willing to wager that republicans donate much more to charity than liberals. Your characterization is insulting and shows a blind following of the class warfare that the liberals like to build up and escalate. And if you check it out, I'm sure that the liberals are a lot more wealthy, while donating a lot less. There are of course, the Kennedy, Gates, Soros, Oprah (don't laugh, she's one of the richest people in the world), Jay Rockefeller (and other Rockefellers), and other ultra-rich liberals. Perhaps the Republicans want to help people become self-reliant more than the liberals, who just want to hand out other people's cash to keep people enslaved to the welfare system (and to ensure their votes).

The welfare system is very abused and is used by generation after generation, and is nothing but enslavement, preventing people from becoming the best that they can be. Becoming self-reliant is a biblical principle, something that is encouraged. Adam was given work in the Garden of Eden before there was sin. Working is praised throughout the Bible. And so is charity, for those who truly need it. The widow, who had no family, was to be helped by the church. 2Thess 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

People just blindly hold on those characterizations, it's very frustrating. It was NOT the republicans who voted against the cost of living (COLA) adjustment for the last 3 years for those on social security, it was the democrats. It was the democrats who voted against COLA for the poorest of the poor, and you have the gall to call republicans greedy? Please do some research and quit swallowing the lies of the politicians. There had ALWAYS been a COLA for social security recipients when the republicans had the majority. And of course, Congress voted for COLA for themselves. I don't blindly follow any party, I research the particular politicians, and I don't like all the republicans either, but it's time to stop swallowing their lies, time to drop the blind characterizations of each party, and time to research each politician you're voting for, for all of us.

Billy, I guess the goal is to make evang. Christians sound as terrible as you can, but over 2,200,000 fought and many gave their lives to fight against slavery as well. The horrible ordeals that these men and boys went through never seems to matter to anyone, it's kind of like they are forgotten about like the Korean and Viet Nam soldiers. It was a huge proportion of the population at the time. 2,200,000 soldiers fought in the Union army. About 200,000 soldiers were 16 years or younger, and about 300 were 13 and younger. 25 were actually 10 and younger. I guess their beliefs mattered to them.

It is good to see so many principled Christians who put their love for Christ and His before anything else . Why should we support a Mormon for high office , given the fact Mormonism teaches that Jesus is the brother of the Devil , that God the Father is married and through celestial sex spawned a spirit family on a planet near a star called Kolob . These beliefs are but a tip of the ice burg of their vile and heretical scheme .

There is not much of a choice huh!

Besides not voting at all, thus avoid becoming an accomplice of a very worldly system; that like all others is Not going to make it past Judgement Day.

I wonder sometimes if "let the dead bury the dead" could have any practical application in the subject matter of political elections.

I just wonder!

Wow! Here we have millions of "Christian" voters who might have a choice to vote for a candidate with conservative values similar to theirs, but they can't make themselves do it because the guy's a Mormon. Nice to see religious bigotry is alive and well in the Christian community.

I would never knowingly vote for a practicing homosexual candidate (if you can't get your gender straight, why would I think you could get anything else straight?); and voting for a Mormon...good question. I haven't decided on that yet. But what's worse, a nominee who doesn't believe in Jesus at all or one that has a defective theology about Jesus? Think maybe CT could get Mitt Romney to do an interview about his theology?

Saw this spoof (?) on the net:

A TRANSGENDER SPIN-OFF

I'm a little kid and I feel that inside of me there is a real adult.
Yes, I have what you could say is an "adult identity." I know I was born an adult because I never did choose to be an adult.
Since I'm really, really an adult deep down inside, why is it I'm not allowed to go to "adult only" places and act like adults?
I mean, kids in Palestine can carry adult guns. Kids in other Muslim places can cut off heads in videos. And kids in San Francisco can watch gays having sex in public, so why can't "adult" kids like me act like those adults?
If a man can be the "woman" inside of him, and if a woman can be the "man" she says is inside of her, I demand to live out the "adult identity" that I know is really, really inside of me!
Since a cat may think he's the "mouse" inside of him, and since our "Christian" President can be the "Muslim" inside of him, I demand the right to be the transbeing adult that was inside of me even before I was born!

signed, Charlie (I mean - Mr. Brown)

Conservative evangelicals aren't all evangelicals,for which we might be grateful. Consequentially, "Evangelical" is more diverse category than many people might think.

Conservative Evangelical spokespeople seem to have an awful lot of social visibility and an outsized influence. Conservative Evangelical activists seem to be comfortable with lobbying, fund raising and political organizing; behind the scenes and in front of cameras. They also seem to be much too comfortable with reviving "massive resistance" like political and religious tactics.

My MSA district has three Protestant (and one ultra conservative Catholic) religious-right stations which I get and even watch, though I'm much too cheap and busy to buy basic cable. I channel surf through them in about the same sort of way people rubber neck horrible traffic accidents, I guess. Who knows what oddly fascinating horrors a Hagee or others will come up with? All the stations have broadcasted the most despicable slanders against GLBT and Muslim people. They all have taught the most bizarre and improbable conspiracy theorists. Served up self-serving historical, slavery and holocaust revisionism as incontrovertible truths, have very odd ideas about "love gifts," And then there is all that dubiously warped and cherry picked pseudo science. Fortunately for them, I think, people in the "mainstream media" usually don't seem to want to watch...and who can blame them?

I've worked as a graphics artist, so I also look at the graphics, sets, advertisements and merchandise designs. There is a lot of kitschy, conspicuous consumption, over-gilded, rather pathetically pretentious bad taste going on...as well as a sort of deep blandness that goes beyond any tight budget excuse...in a sort of carefully tedious, clunky, gray, provincial Soviet-like way. But then, some wit once said that communism was secular Calvinism.

When I think of kitsch, I think of what Milan Kundera wrote in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," which is very forbidden to quote here...but I wouldn't much argue with him.

I've met Black and Hispanic United Methodists, Black, and/or Hispanic Episcopalians, Black Unitarians, Black Presbyterians and Black Lutherans (as well as Puerto Rican, Scandinavian and Black Jews, Islamics and Buddhists...even a Gay French convert to Jainism). If you want to be in a religion that takes non-violence very, very seriously, convert to Jainism. Or, you could learn what Gandhi, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King, Jr. got indirectly from them.

But, most people identifying as Mainline United Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian etc likely wouldn't be Black or Hispanic. However, it would be interesting to know what Pew does when they randomly come across a Black, Asian and/or Hispanic Mainline Church member.

Unlike with moderate evangelicalism (which is usually still too conservative for my Mainline raised self), conservative evangelicalism seems to be mostly about the religious legitimization of states' rights. States' rights is pretty much the political theory of Protestant white privilege (with the odd exception now and then), and has been so since John C. Calhoun's day.

I'm not going to speak for the Black community as I'm not Black, but if the GOP wants the votes of my siblings and I, raised in a Republican since the Civil War Norwegian American family, the GOP would have to purge states' rightists from the party. The Democrats started purging state's rights from the party way back in the Truman administration. We merely followed the light from Lincoln's torch as it was passed from one party to the other...and apparently, there's no going back, only forward.

@Abigail: Clever!

Barbara, the greed comment had to do with the corporate interests and supply-side economics of many GOP lawmakers and not the voters themselves. (I agree that conservative Christians give more to charity than liberals.)

My point was to highlight that so many evangelical voters only look at the abortion and gay marriage issue when voting with their Christian conscience, and not against the absolute greedy ideology of lawmakers who insist that there be no regulations on mega-corporations and the idea that the wealthy paying a higher percentage in taxes is class warfare.

The "Left" is hypocritcal when they criticize social conservatives for the way they vote. The "left" do exactly the same thing. How many liberal, prochoice, progay marriage voters vote for prolife/antigay marriage candidates? You could probably count them on one hand. Soooo...that dog don't hunt, Walt. And just so you know, I would never vote for a progay marriage/prochoice democrat - ever. Babies should never be killed - only loved and nurtured; and perversion should never be normalized, legitimated, or given legal status. Marriage has always been a heterosexual institution; let the progay marriage people think up their own institution and leave marriage to the heterosexuals. Since those progay marriage/prochoice politicians can't make good decisions at such a basic level, why would I think they could make decisions which require thought?