Evangelical Vote Increases to Record 27% of Electorate, Breaks Heavily for Romney

November 7 2012   |   BLOG
Evangelical Vote Increases to Record 27% of Electorate, Breaks Heavily for Romney

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2012

Rise in Evangelical Support Made Up Virtually the Entire Increase in Romney’s Vote Compared to John McCain in 2008, According to Post-Election Survey

A national post-election survey commissioned by the Faith and Freedom Coalition last night found that the evangelical vote increased in 2012 to a record 27% of the electorate and that white evangelicals voted roughly 78% for Mitt Romney to 21% for Barack Obama.  This was the highest share of the vote in modern political history for evangelicals.  Romney’s performance among evangelicals represented a net swing of 10% over John McCain’s performance in 2008. 

“Evangelicals turned out in record numbers and voted as heavily for Mitt Romney yesterday as they did for George W. Bush in 2004,” observed Ralph Reed, chairman of Faith and Freedom Coalition.  “That is an astonishing outcome that few would have predicted even a few months ago.  But Romney underperformed with younger voters and minorities and that in the end made the difference for Obama.”

Catholic voters who regularly attend Mass broke 67% for Romney to 32% for Obama.  This represented a swing of 35% in the direction of the GOP since 2008.   Romney also won white Catholics by a margin of 59% to 40%, a margin of 19 points among a group that historically has voted for the winner.  Nevertheless, Obama narrowly won the Catholic vote driven largely by  over performing among Hispanic Catholics.

“Virtually the entire increase in Mitt Romney’s vote compared to John McCain’s in 2008 came because of higher turnout and higher support from evangelical voters,” said Glen Bolger, the pollster who conducted the survey.  

“This election was a tale of two cities,” said Reed.  “Evangelicals and faithful Catholics turned out in large numbers and voted overwhelmingly for religious liberty, the sanctity of life and marriage, and limited government.  But younger voters and minorities turned out in even larger numbers in 2008 and delivered Obama to victory.”

Reed added: “If the Republican Party wants to be competitive in national elections, it will have to nominate candidates who can appeal to young voters, women, Hispanics and other minorities.  Otherwise, they will likely see more elections similar to the 2012 outcome.  The good news for the GOP is many of those voters are conservative and are people of faith.” 

The post-election survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and interviewed 800 actual 2012 voters.  The margin of error is plus/minus 3.46%.