Why aren’t more evangelicals voting for Romney?

posted at 8:20 pm on March 16, 2012 by Karl

It figures that days after considering whether there might be an anti-Mormon “Romney effect” in 2012, there would be fresh data from Michael Tesler at YouGov:

Media speculation abounds that Mitt Romney’s poor performance among Evangelical voters in the 2012 Primaries is rooted in anti-Mormonism—a sentiment that will surely intensify if the former governor loses this week in Alabama and Mississippi. My analysis of seven surveys conducted by YouGov from late January to early March 2012 (pooled n=7,000, with 1,791 likely Republican primary voters), however, suggests that Romney’s religion is not the main reason why he has not won over these voters.

***

Why, then, has Romney underperformed among this group throughout the primary season? The answer most likely resides in moral issues like abortion and gay marriage. For, unlike attitudes about Mormons, Evangelical Republicans are much more conservative on these issues than their fellow partisans. Moreover, and also unlike anti-Mormonism, Evangelicals are more likely to vote in the primaries based upon moral issues than other Republicans.

This is consistent with Erick Erickson’s January account of a meeting of prominent Christian conservatives — one which also suggests Team Romney played this all wrong (although Erickson is no Romney fan for a host of reasons):

If you are reading this from the media, I think the story you should tell is that Mitt Romney will probably become the nominee of the Republican Party with even less good feelings between evangelicals and him than John McCain had.

The problem for Team Romney is that the distrust of Romney is overwhelmingly about his record and shiftiness, but the Romney campaign fundamentally believes it is about his religion. When Team Romney concluded the pitch (read from an iPad seemingly without a passionate delivery) with an admonishment to not be an anti-Mormon bigot, it was game over. Several of the attendees felt like the Romney campaign was almost implying that they’d win without evangelicals and would expect everyone to line up when it was over even without Romney reaching out.

Erickson’s reference to John McCain is interesting, as ol’ Maverick also had a more difficult time with the evangelical vote than George W. Bush. Comparing the 2004 and 2008 exit polls, it appears evangelical turnout marginally increased — as it has for decades, due in large part to the rising socioeconomic status (.pdf) of the demo — from 23% to 26% of voters. However, Bush won 78% of white evangelicals, while McCain only won 73%. Overall, that’s a little over a percent of the electorate — which seems small, but which could matter in a very close election, depending on where those votes are located (it would likely be less significant a loss in Alabama or Mississippi than in Virginia, North Carolina or Georgia).

Of course, the exits are not detailed enough to explain the difference from ’04 to ’08, so it would be risky to assume McCain’s showing was all or even largely about evangelicals thinking he was insufficiently committed to social issues. Evangelicals care about those issues, but not all of them are single-issue voters. The economic meltdown of ’08 may well have played a role here. Moreover, it is possible that the larger youth vote in 2008 brought out young evangelicals who are less socially conservative than their parents. In these respects, the 2012 environment would likely be more favorable to Romney, should he become the GOP nominee.

The lesson here is that Romney should be able to make inroads with evangelicals if he becomes the GOP nominee. The question is whether he is up to the task. Maintaining his standard cool attitude about the campaign in this regard may make it tougher for someone perceived as inauthentic to build bridges with this demographic.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Cuz his hair is perfect?

OkieDoc on March 16, 2012 at 8:22 PM

The narrative. They don’t because Mormon’s a cult. The truth is, because Mitt isn’t a conservative like most evangelicals are.

Conservative4Ever on March 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

correction: “Mormon’s are a cult”

Conservative4Ever on March 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Why aren’t more Mormons voting for Santorum?

sartana on March 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Why, then, has Romney underperformed among this group throughout the primary season? The answer most likely resides in moral issues like abortion and gay marriage. For, unlike attitudes about Mormons, Evangelical Republicans are much more conservative on these issues than their fellow partisans. Moreover, and also unlike anti-Mormonism, Evangelicals are more likely to vote in the primaries based upon moral issues than other Republicans.

Le gasp! You mean, Social Conservatives are socially conservative?

Whodathunkit?

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

The only ones I see that bring up Romney’s religion are liberals. When will we call them out on their prejudiced hate speech?

joekenha on March 16, 2012 at 8:29 PM

The problem for Team Romney is that the distrust of Romney is overwhelmingly about his record and shiftiness, but the Romney campaign fundamentally believes it is about his religion. When Team Romney concluded the pitch (read from an iPad seemingly without a passionate delivery) with an admonishment to not be an anti-Mormon bigot, it was game over. Several of the attendees felt like the Romney campaign was almost implying that they’d win without evangelicals and would expect everyone to line up when it was over even without Romney reaching out.

How tone deaf can you be?

Romney has this condescending attitude toward any conservatives. This just feeds the mistrust of him.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 8:31 PM

The narrative. They don’t because Mormon’s a cult. The truth is, because Mitt isn’t a conservative like most evangelicals are.

Conservative4Ever on March 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Think you have it backwards, bro.

Swerve22 on March 16, 2012 at 8:33 PM

The truth is, because Mitt isn’t a conservative like most evangelicals are.

Conservative4Ever on March 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Correction:

Mitt isn’t perceived to be a conservative like most evangelicals are.

OK, he’s no Reagan, but he’s at least as conservative as Rick, & Mitt’s more conservative than Newt.

itsnotaboutme on March 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

His religion is the one of the last reasons many evangelicals have a problem with him. Also, last time I checked Glenn Beck has a ton of fans of the evangelical persuasion, so it might be logical to conclude it’s something else about Romney that makes them afraid.

*cough*Romneycare*cough*

BakerAllie on March 16, 2012 at 8:35 PM

The lesson here is that Romney should be able to make inroads with evangelicals if he becomes the GOP nominee. The question is whether he is up to the task. Maintaining his standard cool attitude about the campaign in this regard may make it tougher for someone perceived as inauthentic to build bridges with this demographic.

Let’s see. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney…

1.) Supported Roe v Wade, promising not to chip away at the Roe decision given his gubernatorial powers, and stated that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. Good luck selling the “pro-life” convictions of such a person to people who believe abortion should be illegal.

2.) Implemented gay marriage. Although the Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered the legislature to change the marriage laws, Romney didn’t wait for them and began issuing gay marriage licenses on his own. Good luck selling the revisionist “He fought it as hard as he could” line to people who think that you’ve undermined the lynchpin of society.

3.) Advocated for and implemented Romneycare. People generally think that citizens should be treated as a population that civil servants serve, not financial liabilities. Good luck selling people on the idea that they should be forced into purchasing a product for no reason other than for having the audacity to breathe.

4.) Advocated for gun control. Romney bragged openly how Massachusetts had some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Good luck selling that to people who cling to their guns and religion.

And that’s just the social issues. A whole lot of these people are also populists. That means they’re not enamored with Mitt’s time at Bain Capital and the manner in which he earned his money, nor do they appreciate someone who likes firing people or who doesn’t care about the very poor.

Combine those issues with the overarching problems of being dishonest, opportunistic, and vapid, and you’ll find you have a group of people that steadfastly oppose him.

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Romney’s not a conservative and that is why conservatives tend not to vote for him. There’s no great mystery here.

sharrukin on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I’m a Southern Christian, though not a very good one. I don’t care that he’s a Mormon…at all. He says a lot of good things and some not so good. If I thought he would govern the way he talks I wouldn’t have any problem but I don’t always believe what he says. His previous statements and his policies scare me.

Big Orange on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Why, then, has Romney underperformed among this group throughout the primary season? The answer most likely resides in moral issues like abortion and gay marriage. For, unlike attitudes about Mormons, Evangelical Republicans are much more conservative on these issues than their fellow partisans. Moreover, and also unlike anti-Mormonism, Evangelicals are more likely to vote in the primaries based upon moral issues than other Republicans.

Would this be the right time to point out that Romney prevented the Boy Scouts from participating in the 2002 Olympics because they refused to allow gay Scoutmasters?

tom on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Heck I don’t know!Why do 90 % to 95 % of Blacks vote for Herkle?… and 90% to 95% of Mormons vote for Romney? Opposites attract or some such thing?

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I got the memo to support him, but it was written in Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

tom daschle concerned on March 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM

OK, he’s no Reagan, but he’s at least as conservative as Rick, & Mitt’s more conservative than Newt.

itsnotaboutme on March 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

At least as conservative as Santorum? More conservative than Gingrich?

Hmmm. I’d say that’s less plausible than Obama being a centrist.

tom on March 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Why aren’t we talking about this instead?

Hahahahaha santorum tanning in Puerto Rico. He even manges to look like a snob while sitting next to a pool.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/rick-santorum-shirtless?s=mobile

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Cuz his hair is perfect?

OkieDoc on March 16, 2012 at 8:22 PM

No, it’s not that

The Nerve on March 16, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I’d have to say the real question is why exactly anyone would expect evangelicals to vote for Romney. He doesn’t seem to share their social values, or concerns, or be especially authentic.

So you tell me, why exactly should evangelicals line up behind Mitt Romney?

Let me guess: he’s electable? He’s inevitable?

tom on March 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Why aren’t we talking about this instead?

Hahahahaha santorum tanning in Puerto Rico. He even manges to look like a snob while sitting next to a pool.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/rick-santorum-shirtless?s=mobile

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM

A candidate with their shirt off is the top headline? Drudge is TMZ now..

BakerAllie on March 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

If you know anything about Christian orthodoxy, you’d know that Mormonism is considered highly heretical. That might be why so many Christians are turned off by him.

One of the tenets of Mormonism is that you can achieve Godhood. I won’t mention the originator of that particular heresy, but I will say that he’s been around for a long time and has an affinity for pitchforks and the eating of forbidden fruit.

TheMightyMonarch on March 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Why aren’t we talking about this instead?

Hahahahaha santorum tanning in Puerto Rico. He even manges to look like a snob while sitting next to a pool.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/rick-santorum-shirtless?s=mobile

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Trying to change the subject?

tom on March 16, 2012 at 8:47 PM

I’m not anti mormon, nor am I evangelical. People can believe whatever they like and I just don’t care, unless it involves thieving lives, property, or rights away from anyone else.

In that sense the government is already a failed religion worshiped by the left.

As for supporting romney…..never gonna happen.

Wolfmoon on March 16, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Because Romney is a………wait for it……..PROGRESSIVE.

YouTube: Romney, Progressive……in his own words.

PappyD61 on March 16, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Romney’s not a conservative and that is why conservatives tend not to vote for him. There’s no great mystery here.

sharrukin on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I marvel at how this is treated as if it were the mystery behind Stonehenge. You have to chuckle just a little at it.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Blaming evangelicals as if they were bigots is easy. Making Romney reach out to them, as if he shared their socially conservative values is hard.

Also, McCain made evangelicals much more sceptical of politicians.

WhatNot on March 16, 2012 at 8:50 PM

As more and more of these primaries go by I have concluded that Mitts mormonism IS a larger factor than I originally thought.

gerrym51 on March 16, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Winning states from Alabama all the way to North Dakota is pretty exhausting. Santorum deserves all the rest he can get.

The Nerve on March 16, 2012 at 8:52 PM

OK, he’s no Reagan, but he’s at least as conservative as Rick, & Mitt’s more conservative than Newt.

itsnotaboutme on March 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Being a fiscal conservative, forget about social conservatism because romney definitely is NOT that, one would reject with a veto pen little things like ROMNEYCARE.

Romney is only marginally a fiscal conservative because he’s rich and believes in making more money and doesn’t feel bad about it one bit. If it affects the theft of YOUR rights and not his right to make money, he doesn’t give a crap.

Wolfmoon on March 16, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I marvel at how this is treated as if it were the mystery behind Stonehenge. You have to chuckle just a little at it.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I think they have to put a lot of effort into not seeing the obvious.

sharrukin on March 16, 2012 at 8:53 PM

As more and more of these primaries go by I have concluded that Mitts mormonism IS a larger factor than I originally thought.

gerrym51 on March 16, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Yeah, that would be the lazy conclusion one could draw. Surely, it’s not that he isn’t conservative and doesn’t have a record that conservatives can trust. No, no, bigotry must be the reason.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Mormons are not Christians…that’s why.

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Hey!…Oh…uh….wait!….here’s a thought!………..Lt’s ask the experts!!!!!!!!!…lobotomy4life?…..Bluegill?….lets all of us just declare this an open thread for those 2!!!!We can get popcorn, skittles and beer and watch some March Madness!!!!!!!!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Hey!…Oh…uh….wait!….here’s a thought!………..Lt’s ask the experts!!!!!!!!!…lobotomy4life?…..Bluegill?….lets all of us just declare this an open thread for those 2!!!!We can get popcorn, skittles and beer and watch some March Madness!!!!!!!!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Excellent idea. Tesla spamming the jerk thread and these two clowns here?

katy the mean old lady on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Mormon.

Sorry if that upsets you but there it is. Of course there are other reasons to vote for the other guy, and certainly they will vote for Romney when he is the only alternative to Obama. Until then the prejudice has no real cost, so….
Romney isn’t the most conservative candidate still talking, but he is the most viable. Santorum is too inexperienced: no real political chops or gravitas. Gingrich blows with the wind. They would be gone already if Romney was a Baptist. Really.
Randy

williars on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Mormons are not Christians…that’s why.

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Oh gawd I looked up^^^^^^^^^^^^and almost got hit by a turd!!
KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Mormons are very nice people. I personally know one man who is and I have no complaints about him.

Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Why aren’t more Mormons voting for Santorum?

sartana on March 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

LOL. Shhhh…

Mormons can’t be bigots, because they’re a small minority. Only evangelicals are bigots.

Just like when 90% of blacks voted for Obama (over Hillary in the primary, and over McCain in the general), but who were called out as racists for not voting for Obama? Whites, who were split about even for and against Obama.

Blacks can’t be racists, because they’re a small minority. Only whites can be racists.

Have y’all noticed how many Romney-supporters around here call Santorum supporters bigots? It’s kinda like how Obama supporters call his critics racists. Liberals do what liberals do, whether they have an R or a D by their name.

IcedTea on March 16, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Thank you. There is more in his record and that is a big part of it. I don’t know that this is limited to “Evangelicals” or not. I wouldn’t see why it would be. Conservatives, whether they are Evangelicals or not, would be against Romney’s record.

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 9:19 PM

OK, he’s no Reagan, but he’s at least as conservative as Rick…

itsnotaboutme on March 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

No, he isn’t. That’s why Santorum’s still hanging around.

Of course there are other reasons to vote for the other guy, and certainly they will vote for Romney when he is the only alternative to Obama.

williars on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

No, Romney’s religion has at most VERY little to do with it. And I heard the same old “they’ll fall in line, just watch” when non-Mormons Bob Dole and John McCain were the nominees.

Several of the attendees felt like the Romney campaign was almost implying that they’d win without evangelicals and would expect everyone to line up when it was over even without Romney reaching out.

Yep, that’s it in a nutshell.

ddrintn on March 16, 2012 at 9:20 PM

One of the tenets of Mormonism is that you can achieve Godhood. I won’t mention the originator of that particular heresy, but I will say that he’s been around for a long time and has an affinity for pitchforks and the eating of forbidden fruit.

Mormons aren’t the only ones who believe this. From the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology:

Deification (Greek theosis) is for Orthodoxy the goal of every Christian…It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both OT and NT (e.g. Ps. 82 [81].6; II Peter 1.4), and it is essentially the teaching both of St. Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (cf. Rom. 8.9—17; Gal. 4.5-7), and the Fourth Gospel (cf. 17.21-23).18

EyeSurgeon on March 16, 2012 at 9:20 PM

When generally evangelicals wear there faith on their sleeve and would just love to get someone in the White House how wears their faith on their sleeve and will govern as their faith orders them to.
With the banning of contraception and porn, yes Rick would do both given the chance. The same way Bloomberg bans salt. Even if it is the biggest government there can be to rule that ban. It is ruled by the right kind of faith so it has to be good even if there is a state issued camera in ones bed to make sure there is no porn, no no recreational sex and same sex sex.

Mitt does not show his faith and so they go to Rick who does. With Catholic going to Mitt as they do not show their faith as well.

tjexcite on March 16, 2012 at 9:21 PM

As more and more of these primaries go by I have concluded that Mitts mormonism IS a larger factor than I originally thought.

gerrym51 on March 16, 2012 at 8:51 PM

And the only reason you don’t want to vote for Obama is because he’s black.

See how the game’s played?

ddrintn on March 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

It concerns me that Romney doesn’t seem to be able to build bridges. “Don’t be a bigot – vote for me” is not a winning strategy (even if it did work for Obama). Romney needs to show some respect for this segment of the electorate and show some interest in getting their support.

jrnlz on March 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Mormons are very nice people. I personally know one man who is and I have no complaints about him.

Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM

One of these things is not like the others.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 9:23 PM

TheMightyMonarch on March 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

And thank you for demonstrating that anti-Mormonism is indeed one of Romneys problems. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not his only problem, but its intellectually dishonest to pretend that this is a non-factor.

Let it put me to you all this way. Every other demographic in the Republican party has, either by won by Romney, or been effectively split by Romney. Tea parties, those that consider themselves very conservative, moderates, fiscal conservatives, the list goes on. The only demographic that has proven to be, “consistently,” resistant to a Romney nomination has been Evangelicals.

Now this is not to say that EVERY Evangelical is bigoted, its not even to say that this is Romney’s only problem among this demographic. Lets be honest however, in 2008 PEW conducted a poll that showed that roughly 20% of Americans would never consider voting for a qualified Mormon. Across the country, this number was higher in areas with large concentrations of Evangelical voters, rising all the way up to 30% in certain parts of the South.

Now, analysts have looked at exit polling data in the races thus far, and they do believe this sentiment has fallen since 2008. They believe that it is now somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-17%, having fallen roughly 4% across the board everywhere.

This does not mean that if it were not for this bias that Romney would suddenly shoot up 15% everywhere. There are obviously other reasons why Romney has struggled in this demographic. However, even if removing this bias only helped by a few percentage points, as close as some of these contests have been, its hard to deny that this wouldn’t have changed perceptions.

With only a slight improvement in this demographic, Romney would’ve won Iowa outright, likely would’ve won Colorado, would’ve won Michigan and Iowa by larger margins, and very well could have won Mississippi. In fact it is not unfair to say, that doing just a little better among evangelicals would’ve resulted in this race being over in early February.

Therefore, ANY factor that hurts Romney among this demographic is significant, even if you assume it is only a small one.

WolvenOne on March 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Why aren’t more Mormons voting for Santorum?

sartana on March 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Your kung fu is strong.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Creator of everything.

Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is a created being.

Big difference. Saying that it’s really no big difference is like saying that there’s no difference between Leonardo Da Vinci and the “Mona Lisa”.

Evangelicals will flock to Romney if he’s the nominee but voting for him will feel like voting for McCain or Dole.

Mojave Mark on March 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

One theologian I heard called the LDS Church an “American-born Bible-based world religion.” The world “cult” implies a physical isolation that is not part of the LDS Church. If you want to leave the LDS religion, formally or informally, you can. It doesn’t deserve to be called a cult. But, what they mean by “Jesus Christ” is not what other Christians mean by “Jesus Christ.” Just adopting the same name for your Redeemer doesn’t make everything the same.

RBMN on March 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

It concerns me that Romney doesn’t seem to be able to build bridges. “Don’t be a bigot – vote for me” is not a winning strategy (even if it did work for Obama). Romney needs to show some respect for this segment of the electorate and show some interest in getting their support.

jrnlz on March 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

That’s what I have puzzled over. Why does he not reach out to conservatives?

Then I read this from the story above:

The problem for Team Romney is that the distrust of Romney is overwhelmingly about his record and shiftiness, but the Romney campaign fundamentally believes it is about his religion.

Romney and his campaign have bought into the bigot line. That whole operation is a head-scratcher.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Prolly cause he is a Mormon.

SparkPlug on March 16, 2012 at 9:32 PM

I am not an evangelical, but I can also tell you I could care less about his Mormonism.

I care more about the fact that he has no governing record that backs up his “severely conservative” line. And I also care that he comes off as an arrogant a$$ when he says that he really doesn’t care about the base, since they will be with him in November anyways. You can’t win an election without money and boots on the ground. Who in the hell does he think usually is the money and the volunteers- the base. Good luck getting squishy moderates and independents who can’t be bothered to pay attention past a 20 sec. ad to help out with your campaign!

melle1228 on March 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Karl, so you are quoting a Huffpo article as the “Media speculation abounds…”? That article goes back to when Gov. Perry was in the race: One month ago, an attack on Romney’s faith by a Texas pastor supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry …..?

First of all that “Texas Pastor” was not supporting Perry; we’ve covered this issue months ago.

Then the Huffpo article goes into quoting various Pastors and blah blah blah.

First of all I understand many Christians and Catholics alike voted for Obama. Why would they object to Romney on Religious grounds? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

This is a manufactured issue by someone to blame Christians instead of what the real issue is: Romney himself and his record.

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

melle1228 on March 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I’m with you all the way on this. But as I pointed out in my post of 9:31, Romney believes that we hold his Mormonism against him and I think that fuels this arrogant attitude.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 9:37 PM

That Romney is not doing well with evangelicals has nothing to do with Romney’s Mormon faith. Nothing.

The real problems are that: (i) Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts (2002-2006) was one of a moderate who was expressing adamantly pro-abortion rights views, appointing pro-abortion liberal Democrats to the state judiciary and championing socialized medicine at the state level; and (ii) that Romney is not connecting with evangelicals who cannot get a sense of Romney the real person.

Why, then, would an evangelical go for Romney while Newt sincerely attacks the Obama Administration for anti-religious bigotry and Santorum wears his social conservative views on his sleeve?

Phil Byler on March 16, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I don’t know much about the Mormon faith but aren’t they rather socially conservative?

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Romney cannot expect to run ads that lie and distort the records of other Republican Candidates to the extent that he has and then expect a loving vote in return.

Every State Caucus and Primary he has flooded with negative ads and now Illinois is getting the treatment. Calling Santorum names that are not true.

Romney’s entire campaign has been only negative. He thinks by attacking others, it elevates his standing. Sorry, it reflects badly on him.

A lady called in Mark Levin this evening from Illinois and said she can’t listen to any radio station due to the ads Romney is running. I know what she means, I heard the same thing in Ohio.
I had the answering machine on and had to clear it every day. Slamming Newt or Santorum. Nothing positive about him.

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 9:46 PM

I’m not worried that he’s a Mormon. When he goes back to wearing an ill-fitting black suit, a white shirt, a black tie, a name tag, and insists on riding his bicycle everywhere sporting a backpack stuffed with Books of Mormon, then I’ll worry.

RBMN on March 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM

As more and more of these primaries go by I have concluded that Mitts mormonism IS a larger factor than I originally thought.

gerrym51 on March 16, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Opinions are like _______, everyone has one and we know what they are full of. (fill in your favorite anatomical spot)

chemman on March 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM

In 2008, evangelicals made it very clear that Mormons need not apply. My guess is that Romney hasn’t forgotten that message and decided to win without evangelicals. On a personal level, I can understand Romney’s reaction, but he really needs to try to reach out for the reasons others here have discussed.

Outlander on March 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Mormons are very nice people. I personally know one man who is and I have no complaints about him.

Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Huh?
lobotomy4life = dumbazz

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Romney is a squish! And belongs to a cult. But mostly he’s a squish.

Go Team Santorum!!! 2012.

Really though people should vote for the candidate that best represents their views and values and did I mention Romney’s a squish?!?

multiuseless on March 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Romney has this condescending attitude toward any conservatives. This just feeds the mistrust of him.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 8:31 PM

This. He doesn’t even feel like he needs to acknowledge our presence and that we will vote for him just because he will be the nominee. He barely pays lip service to conservative principles.

Yeah, mittbots, I know he is the “inevitable” candidate, I know that we are all going to have to vote for him because even a tree stump would be better than Obama. The only problem is that I can trust the tree stump to do nothing; I can’t trust Romney to not expand the reach of the federal government or to do other statist things because that is what he did when he was governor. You can’t point to any examples of him being conservative yet bleat incessantly that he is the “most conservative” option we have. You have zero evidence of that.

AZfederalist on March 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Why are we buying into this Mormon vs Evangelical CRAP!

How about this…? Conservatives aren’t crazy about Romney because of SH!T like this!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.therightscoop.com/mittens-i-believe-were-in-a-recovery-mode-finally/

katy on March 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Outlander on March 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM

If that is true then it doesn’t speak well of his decision making capacity.

chemman on March 16, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Or maybe we hate him cause of SH!T like this…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_CAGjMrjtY

katy on March 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I wasn’t really linking HuffPo; Tesler did — and did so only in the context of saying there isn’t much to it.

Karl on March 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Odds are Romney will be our nominee. He and his team need to get their act together when it comes to reaching out to the base as well as the moderates. I’m surprised he is doing as well as he is since he seems to go out of his way to appear out of touch. OTOH I’m also turned off by Newt’s class warfare radio ads – “He’s not one of us” and one about him not pumping his own gas (in reference to Romney). We all know aloof Obama will revert to his campaign season charming self. Romney needs to be likable if we hope to win in November.

jrnlz on March 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Would this be the right time to point out that Romney prevented the Boy Scouts from participating in the 2002 Olympics because they refused to allow gay Scoutmasters?

tom on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM

That myth has long been debunked. The Boy Scouts were not allowed to participate in the 2002 games because Boy Scouts are under the age of 18 and the insurance policy covering the Salt Lake Olympic volunteers required all of them to be at least 18.

Also, if Mitt were “anti-Boy Scout”, why would he have enrolled all 5 of his sons in the program?

spinny on March 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

One of the tenets of Mormonism is that you can achieve Godhood. I won’t mention the originator of that particular heresy, but I will say that he’s been around for a long time and has an affinity for pitchforks and the eating of forbidden fruit.

Mormons aren’t the only ones who believe this. From the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology:

Deification (Greek theosis) is for Orthodoxy the goal of every Christian…It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both OT and NT (e.g. Ps. 82 [81].6; II Peter 1.4), and it is essentially the teaching both of St. Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (cf. Rom. 8.9—17; Gal. 4.5-7), and the Fourth Gospel (cf. 17.21-23).18

EyeSurgeon on March 16, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Nice try. The problem is, what Mormons teach about becoming gods is very different from what those Bible passages teach, and even the early church fathers taught.

But then, that is what Mormonism does – it takes certain phrases and concepts, and like liberalism, it secretly redefines them to mean something completely different.

If you remember what happened back in 2008, when Huckabee brought up the point about Mormons teaching Jesus and Lucipher are brothers, Romney and the Mormons didn’t actually answer the question, they hid behind statements such as “I believe Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind” and stuff like that.

Of course, when a Mormon says Jesus is the “Son of God,” they mean something completely different than orthodox Christianity does. They carefully use such things to try to sneak past the “trickier” elements of their theology.

IcedTea on March 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Mormons believes one can become a god. This is blasphemy in the eyes of any Christian.

Their Jesus is NOT my Jesus.
Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM

One theologian I heard called the LDS Church an “American-born Bible-based world religion.” The world “cult” implies a physical isolation that is not part of the LDS Church. If you want to leave the LDS religion, formally or informally, you can. It doesn’t deserve to be called a cult. But, what they mean by “Jesus Christ” is not what other Christians mean by “Jesus Christ.” Just adopting the same name for your Redeemer doesn’t make everything the same.

RBMN on March 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

You have the terminology wrong. It is true that one of the connotations of cult is that of scientology, the krishnas, or the moonies. However, that is a somewhat incorrect application of a precise theological term.

In Christian theological terms, there are terms for the various sects within Christianity that acknowledge, either by direct assertion or by practice, the biblical understanding of the nature of God, salvation, redemption, and sanctification as revealed in the Bible and summarized in the three Christian creeds: The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Christian theologians ascribe the definition of Christian to all of those sects and the term “orthodox” to those who hold strictly to the faith as expounded in scripture and “heterodox” to those who err in some way (works righteousness and decision theology for example). Those groups who may use the bible as a partial basis of their faith but that do not hold to those beliefs are then described by the term “cult”. Cults deviate from orthodox or heterodox beliefs because they deviate from fundamental Christian doctrine in some significant way. In the case of the Mormons, it is their belief that Christ is a son of God, a created creature, not “the Son uncreate” as stated in the Athanasian creed or “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” as stated in John 1 as well as other places in scripture that Christ is not a created being and most certainly was not the brother of Lucifer as stated in Mormon doctrine. There are also other significant deviations from the faith described in scripture and mormonism as well. The term “cult” as applied to the Mormon faith is not meant to be derogatory in the manner as it is applied to the moonies and others, but is meant to clearly define that, despite their assertions, the Mormon faith does not adhere to a faith that precisely describes Christianity.

AZfederalist on March 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Why aren’t more Evangelical’s voting for Romney?

Simple really, some of them don’t like his “lack of conservative credentials”, and some of them are bigots, and some of them are emphasizing that he lacks conservative credentials to cover for their muted bigotry.

Why are so many Mormons voting for him?

Simple really, some of them like his conservative credentials. Some of them are out and out bigots, and some of them are extremely proud of him being a Mormon (a mild form of “bigotry” but not really).

I don’t begrudge them being proud and getting to vote for the first Mormon candidate for POTUS.

SauerKraut537 on March 16, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Mormons believes one can become a god. This is blasphemy in the eyes of any Christian.

Their Jesus is NOT my Jesus.
Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Poor Chioma, you reek of desperation.

Tell us what does it take to be a Christian?

HumpBot Salvation on March 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Mormons believes one can become a god. This is blasphemy in the eyes of any Christian.

Their Jesus is NOT my Jesus.
Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM

And I take it you are an Obama-supporting, pro-choicer, Mr./Ms. liberal4life?

If so, then your Jesus is NOT my Jesus, either.
Obamaism = cult, too

IcedTea on March 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Mormons believes one can become a god. This is blasphemy in the eyes of any Christian.

Their Jesus is NOT my Jesus.
Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM

And we take it that your Jesus = Obama.

Right?

HumpBot Salvation on March 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Why didn’t more evengelicals vote for Rick Perry? Oh that’s right, because he is stupid. Why don’t more Catholics vote for santorum? Because he is a douche-knuckle. Many people don’t support Mitt for various reasons. Who cares? He needs to earn votes on policy not religious ideology.

Rusty Allen on March 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Why are we buying into this Mormon vs Evangelical CRAP!

How about this…? Conservatives aren’t crazy about Romney because of SH!T like this!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.therightscoop.com/mittens-i-believe-were-in-a-recovery-mode-finally/

katy on March 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I think Mark played that tonight. Is this 2008 again? Good grief!!
Why would he make such a statement? Shaking my head here..

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I wasn’t really linking HuffPo; Tesler did — and did so only in the context of saying there isn’t much to it.

Karl on March 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Oh, I’m sorry. I overlooked that link..oops!! Just now read it. I see Tesler did link to it. That Huffpo article was confusing; part past info and current, LOL

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM

bluefox on March 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM

And his son Matt seems to think “Obama is great”.

We are heading for another 2008.

Romney cannot define Obama. Which means he does not have the knowledge or will to defeat Obama.

There are millions of incredibly STUPID people who think he can beat a Marxist when he refuses to acknowledge he is one.

katy on March 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Evangelicals don’t like Romney for the same reason they don’t like Ben Franklin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwTADnsFrPA

joncoltonis on March 16, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Mormons are very nice people. I personally know one man who is and I have no complaints about him.

Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM

“No, really, I’m not a bigot! I have friends who are mormons, see?”

“Pinky promise I do!!”

thirtyandseven on March 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Mormons believes one can become a god. This is blasphemy in the eyes of any Christian.

Their Jesus is NOT my Jesus.
Mormonism = cult

liberal4life on March 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM

lol.

thirtyandseven on March 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Why are we buying into this Mormon vs Evangelical CRAP!

How about this…? Conservatives aren’t crazy about Romney because of SH!T like this!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.therightscoop.com/mittens-i-believe-were-in-a-recovery-mode-finally/

katy on March 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM

OMG- electable..Not even close. I would think that he is just a nice guy who gives someone the benefit of the doubt except his campaign is MERCILESS against his Republican opponents.

This is frickin John McCain all over again. Can we get a Republican with some balls, please?

melle1228 on March 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM

except his campaign is MERCILESS against his Republican opponents.

This is frickin John McCain all over again. Can we get a Republican with some balls, please?

melle1228 on March 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Yep, merciless against fellow Republicans. Obsequious and kowtowing to Obama. “Just in over his head”, “Well, maybe it’s not a “recovery” recovery, and yeah, I guess the current president has kind of slowed it down with his policies”. Yeah, real strong attack on Obama and his policies there champ.

2008 all over again.

… and the MSM and Republican establishment have the gall to imply it is because of his religion that we are not flocking behind him.

/It’s the campaigning stupid!

AZfederalist on March 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Mitt isn’t perceived to be a conservative like most evangelicals are.

OK, he’s no Reagan, but he’s at least as conservative as Rick, & Mitt’s more conservative than Newt.

itsnotaboutme on March 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

RomneyCare?!?!?!

By the way Mark Levin had a caller from IL who was fed up with Mitten’s robocalls and ads. She was surprised by the calls she had that not one was a person on the other end.

Mitt can spend the money, flooding the airwaves with neg ads and make the robocalls. One does wonder how this is going to be helpful in coalescing the base around you when you cannot give one positive reason to vote for you.

PuritanD71 on March 16, 2012 at 11:19 PM

My major problem with his religious beliefs is in regard to how the Left will use them against him. This is something that seems to be missed by those who so eagerly voting for this top-down government, severely conservative candidate.

They are going to make sure that Mormonism will be set back 100yrs. I am surprised that Mormons who have worked so hard to make their cult look mainstream are willing to take this huge risk.

If anyone thinks that Obama, MSM, and the Left are going to have a hands off approach to this man who refuses to attack Obama as he does his primary opponents, need to get a clue and get one fast, before it is too late.

PuritanD71 on March 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Mitt can spend the money, flooding the airwaves with neg ads and make the robocalls. One does wonder how this is going to be helpful in coalescing the base around you when you cannot give one positive reason to vote for you.

Bingo! All I ever here from his supporters and even his campaign is why we SHOULDN’T vote for Newt and Santorum. Other than Mitt being electable(which I am not sure of); I haven’t heard one definitive positive as to why he is the ideal candidate.

Also, since he can’t seem to attack Obama worth a damn-he had better have a good reason why he is better than him. Just saying vote for me I am not Obama isn’t going to cut. And he certainly isn’t going to use the economy(we’re in a recovery don’t ya know), gas prices( president can’t set them precisely), or Obamacare( he is the grandfather)…

melle1228 on March 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

You know, I think I finally figured out Romney’s open disdain for the more conservative elements of the Republican party these days (besides the fact that Romney has always been a “moderate”).

In 2008, Romney pandered to conservatives when he decided to campaign as a “true convert to conservatism.” He isn’t a conservative, but he put on a conservative show because he believed it was necessary to win the Republican nomination.

And then what happened? Romney, running as a conservative (something he surely detested doing) lost to the guy who ran as the moderate RINO – John McCain.

Since that loss, Romney has been brooding, resenting the fact that the guy who won was a moderate/RINO. So when planning for his next run in 2012, Romney decided to run as the moderate/RINO, since that is what won the nomination the last time, and that is who he really is.

That would explain Romney’s open disdain for conservatives, and his “I’ll get the delegates required to win the nomination, and you’ll vote for me whether you like it or not” attitude. Part of that is because he saw that was how it happened with McCain in 2008, and part of that is his general dislike for conservatives as a moderate/RINO (along with some personal pettiness that his 2008 conservative charade wasn’t enough to get him the nomination).

What Romney seems to have missed was that McCain didn’t inspire enough turn out to beat Obama. So even if Romney does win the nomination, he also isn’t likely to inspire enough turn out to beat Obama.

IcedTea on March 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM

So even if Romney does win the nomination, he also isn’t likely to inspire enough turn out to beat Obama.

IcedTea on March 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Obama will inspire us to vote against Obama.

Mojave Mark on March 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Obama will inspire us to vote against Obama.

Mojave Mark on March 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Maybe, but I would not completely count on that. People need just as much of a positive reason to vote as they do a negative one.

PuritanD71 on March 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Nice try. The problem is, what Mormons teach about becoming gods is very different from what those Bible passages teach, and even the early church fathers taught.

Some early church fathers on the idea of theosis:

[T]he Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself. Irenaeus

Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods?” Irenaeus

“Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.” Clement of Alexandria

‘Men are gods, and gods are men.’” Heraclitus

men are “deemed worthy of becoming gods and of having power to become sons of the highest.” Justin Martyr

“The Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be made gods.” Athanasius

“But he himself that justifies also deifies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. ‘For he has given them power to become the sons of God’ [John 1:12] If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.” Saint Augustine

“Men should escape from being men, and hasten to become gods” Origen

Eastern Orthodox Christianity still teaches the principle of theosis.

C.S. Lewis writes of the doctrine of theosis, “The command Be ye perfect [Matt. 5:48] is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and he is going to make good His words. If we let Him – for we can prevent Him, if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess…”

EyeSurgeon on March 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Why aren’t any Mormons voting for Santorum?

I dare ya to research and put the hard %s of each voting block up.

At least some evangelicals are voting for Romney as opposed to 90%+ of Mormons.

newtopia on March 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/2/7/135258.shtml

Would this be the right time to point out that Romney prevented the Boy Scouts from participating in the 2002 Olympics because they refused to allow gay Scoutmasters?

tom on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM

That myth has long been debunked. The Boy Scouts were not allowed to participate in the 2002 games because Boy Scouts are under the age of 18 and the insurance policy covering the Salt Lake Olympic volunteers required all of them to be at least 18.

Also, if Mitt were “anti-Boy Scout”, why would he have enrolled all 5 of his sons in the program?

spinny on March 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Hardly. First of all, the controversy over the Boy Scouts didn’t really start until gay activists objected to their ban on gay Scoutmasters around maybe 2000. By that time, all of Romney’s sons would have been past or nearly past the age of Scouting.

But that’s also irrelevant to the Olympics not allowing Scouts to volunteer, which is about public participation that could be politically embarrassing, not private participation.

Romney claims it was due to an age limit, but other volunteers were allowed under the age of 18. And in fact it appears Scouts were free to volunteer, but not if they wore their Scout uniform.

See for example this story and its followup a little later.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 17, 2012 at 1:27 AM

C.S. Lewis writes of the doctrine of theosis, “The command Be ye perfect [Matt. 5:48] is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and he is going to make good His words. If we let Him – for we can prevent Him, if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess…”

EyeSurgeon on March 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM

The command “Be ye perfect, as your Father, which is in Heaven is perfect” has nothing to do with us becoming equal to God, but with learning to become like God in uprightness. In Christian theology terms, this is referred to as “sanctification” or becoming holy, and is a process that lasts all our lives.

But at no point do we become equal with God, and cherry-picking quotes from a bunch of “church fathers” will not change that. The fact of the matter is that cults sprang up nearly as quickly as churches did. One reason for the New Testament writings was to help the early Christians reject false or heretical teaching. One cannot read 2 Peter, Jude, or 1st and 2nd Timothy without encountering references to false teachings, as also seen in Galatians, where Paul explicitly says — twice! — that any other Gospel that is not the Gospel they had learned was cursed.

Gal 1:8-9

But though we, or an angel from heaven teach any other gospel unto you but what we have taught unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you but what ye have received, let him be accursed.

So it’s not enough to quote an early teacher with a following in the church. The Gnostic heresy was there from the beginning of the church. I believe of those you quoted, Clement of Alexandria and Origen were both heavily influenced by Gnosticism.

An admonition to be more like God should not be confused with a promise that you would be God.

But even if we accepted all you said at face value, it still doesn’t compare to the famous claim by Joseph Smith: “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.”

Though it’s all irrelevant WRT Mitt Romney. I have so many good reasons for rejecting him already that his Mormon faith doesn’t even begin to enter into the question.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 17, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Mitt Romney’s poor performance among Evangelical voters in the 2012 Primaries is rooted in anti-Mormonism

No. You think?

NO SH-T SHERLOCK!

MJBrutus on March 17, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Mitt Romney’s poor performance among Evangelical voters in the 2012 Primaries is rooted in anti-Mormonism

No. You think?

NO SH-T SHERLOCK!

MJBrutus on March 17, 2012 at 2:16 AM

I’ll say it again: Why exactly would you expect squishy Romney to do well among evangelicals, quite aside from his Mormonism? What reasons would they have to vote for him?

And that is why his Mormonism is actually irrelevant.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 17, 2012 at 2:28 AM

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 17, 2012 at 2:28 AM

I would expect Romney to do well with all Americans who value the prosperity of this country over their petty wants.

MJBrutus on March 17, 2012 at 3:28 AM

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