Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Yes, white conservative evangelical Christians will support Willard Romney for President

It's news, because it means the year is moving on and the Republican base is lining up loyally behind the Party nominee-to-be, Willard Romney. As David Lightman report in Mitt Romney, evangelicals seek marriage of convenience McClatchy Newspapers 04/30/2012:

Romney will speak May 12 at Liberty University, the influential Virginia school that bills itself as the "largest Christian university in the world."

Experts think Romney will be able to rally conservative Christians with ease.

"They’re going to vote for him," said Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. ...

In 2008, 23 percent of voters identified themselves as white Protestant evangelicals. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, got 73 percent of their support, and Obama got 26 percent, according to exit polls. In April, a Pew Research Center survey found that 73 percent of them supported Romney and 20 percent Obama.

The reason for evangelicals’ rally-round-Romney effect: their disdain for Obama and respect for Romney’s moral values.

"They hate Obamacare, and see the debt as a moral issue," Land said. They view the 2010 federal health care law, which will require nearly everyone to obtain coverage by 2014 or pay a fine, as more big government. Their suspicions were compounded earlier this year when the White House sought to require most employers to offer contraception coverage – a violation, many said, of this country’s tradition of religious liberty.
Bill Berkowitz in Will They or Won't They? Romney and the Evangelicals Buzzflash 04/25/2012 treated the question of his title as a foregone conclusion:

According to recent polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (conducted April 4-15, 2012), Romney holds a 53-point lead over Obama among white evangelicals (favoring him by a 73 to 20 percent margin) and a 20-point lead among white Catholics, who favor Romney by 57 to 37 percent.

So while there may have been some mega-hand wringing during the primaries, a fair amount of Mormon-bashing, and threats from some Christian Right leaders to sit this one out, there really hasn't been a scintilla of doubt that in the end conservative Christian evangelicals would vote overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney.

"It's pretty obvious that the Religious Right wanted Rick Santorum to be the GOP's candidate, but now that it's clear he won't be, I expect most of them to fall in line and back Romney," Rob Boston, Senior Policy Analyst for Americans United, told BuzzFlash. "Romney can count on the Religious Right's overarching hatred of Obama to drive them to the polls. There may be a tiny faction who won't vote for a Mormon, but I don't believe they will amount to much."
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