Politically Speaking

With some trepidation I’m going to venture ever so slightly into the political realm. There has been a general conversation in the Evangelical community surrounding Governor Huckabee. There are a number of Evangelicals who believe they should and must vote for him simply because he shares their religious views.

On the other side of the coin there are a number of well placed Evangelical voices saying that it is wrong to vote for someone simply because they are Evangelical, Mormon, Black, Female, or Male. It’s also wrong to vote against someone because they are Evangelical, Mormon, Black, Female or Male. Instead, candidates should be selected based on merit and issues. Religion, race and gender are not qualifications for the office of President (a stance I completely agree with).

To be sure, I am frustrated with Evangelicals that are voting for Governor Huckabee solely based on the fact that he used to be a pastor (and even more frustrated that Huckabee is running on nothing but that). But I have to laugh when Romney supporters claim that there is religious bigotry among Evangelicals. The reason I have to laugh is that Mitt Romney got 92% of the Republican vote in Utah. 92%!!!! That’s ridiculous for any candidate. If Mormons want to throw stones at Evangelical voters for voting on the wrong thing, they first need to step out of their glass house. A voting block that large in Utah seems to be just as clearly drawn down religious lines as voting trends in the Bible Belt (if not more so).

If it’s wrong to vote against Romney because he’s a Mormon, it’s equally wrong to vote for him because he’s Mormon. Huckabee is proving what I thought to be the case when I first heard of his candidacy. A Mormon candidate’s worst nightmare is an Evangelical pastor.

Advertisements

45 thoughts on “Politically Speaking

  1. Darnit! WordPress ate my comment!

    In short: I agree that there is hypocrisy, and I don’t think that religion should be the basis for a vote. But I’m not convinced that the numbers (90% of Utah republicans for Romney) support the conclusion that he won because of his religion. I’d have to see the Mormon votes from other states.

  2. This is huge!

    If you consider yourself a conservative Christian and you want someone with conservative values in the White House you must vote for Romney. Dr Dobson said in a statement yesterday that a vote for Huckabee is essentially a vote for McCain and if McCain wins the nomination he won’t vote.

    Listen to his statment:

    http://election.newsmax.com/dobson_mccain/

    Now pass this information on to your fellow Christian friends.

    http://www.graceforgrace.com

  3. I was in the process of writing a post making the exact same points this morning. I saved it to write more later today, but then saw your post.

    I’m sure there are a good number of Mormons that go through a thoughtful process of deciding who to vote for. And I’m sure that many of them would have voted for Romney even if they had thought about it, but I agree that many Mormons simply voted for Romney because of his religious affiliation with the LDS Church. There is no other explanation for the huge win in Utah and perhaps in Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming also.

    I was struck that Evangelicals split their votes three ways in many of the southern states, about 1/4th to 1/3rd voting for Romney and about an equal amount voting for McCain! Compared to the monolithic voting block of Utah this shows Evangelicals, unlike Mormons, are a more diverse group of thinkers, something I would never have supposed.

    The feeling I got when reading new articles was that pastors were promoting Huckabee to their congregations. This seemed to me the reason why he was able to stay alive on such a shoestring budget. This is in stark contrast to Mormons that do not promote candidates, not even Romney. Nor do they discuss political elections in Church or out of Church in any official way. Despite this, Mormons still voted as an overwhelming block for Romney and Evangelicals did not all vote for Huckabee.

    This diversity of thought may have to do with the fact that Evangelicals do not have a central leader to look toward. Mormons, however, have one source of instruction, their prophet. If they feel that a candidate doesn’t align with his morality teachings (e.g. abortion, gay marriage) they may shy away from him. I don’t think that is what happened here. Mormons didn’t avoid Huckabee because he believes in the Trinity.

    Huckabee is a bit more liberal when it comes to social programs, which may have turned a lot of Mormons off, but the rest of his conservative stance is exactly what Mormons like. I think there was also some backlash from when Evangelicals campaigned so hard against Romney in Iowa and how they used the weird history of Mormonism to push poll against Romney (not to mention the polygamy cards that were mailed to voters). I think a lot of Mormons saw that as bad politics and as a personal attack on them as LDS members. Even if Huckabee was not responsible for the attacks because of his religious leanings Mormons probably assumed he was. I think it also reinforced the image that LDS members have of the Evangelical community that is constantly trying to portray the LDS faith as some sort of satanic cult. This long time negative strategy against the LDS Church by Evangelical Christians I think was the reason Huckabee didn’t get votes in Utah. Mormons associated him (as a Baptist pastor) with the same people that continue to attack their deeply held beliefs and degrade their religion. This coupled with what they perceived as socialist leanings guaranteed that Huckabee would not get the Mormon vote.

  4. But I’m not convinced that the numbers (90% of Utah republicans for Romney) support the conclusion that he won because of his religion. I’d have to see the Mormon votes from other states.

    Brian,
    You must be kidding. The only place that candidates win by that much is in communist countries where its been rigged, but you don’t see anyone contesting the Utah election do you? It is just a sad reality that LDS members in Utah all think alike (except for the 10%). And LDS members in general don’t appreciate the attacks on their beliefs by Evangelicals. This bias clearly played a role in the Utah primary.

  5. Tim, there is a big difference between supporting “one of your own” and opposing someone who isn’t one of your own.

    Besides, you need to keep in mind that Romney really came through for the state of Utah when he saved the Utah Olympics from becoming an absolute embarrassment (remember the scandals?). There’s a lot of good will left over from that, quite apart from Romney being a Mormon. Secondly, the Utah GOP establishment is pretty firmly on board with Romney’s agenda in a way they simply aren’t with McCain (the party traitor), or Huckabee (who isn’t even a government conservative at all). If Mormon Democrat Harry Reid were running for president, I rather doubt he’d get even half the support Romney did.

    Finally, Huckabee’s camp has been acting like a bunch of little turds when it comes to Mormons. His Jesus-and-Satan-are-brothers remark was pretty transparent, especially from an ordained Baptist minister who was one of the keynote speakers at the Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake City a couple years back. For Mormons, it was Huck trying to capitalize on anti-Mormon sentiment:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8322.html

    And any Mormon who happened to be interested in his campaign and wandered onto his website would be in for a rude awakening at the sheer venom directed at Mormonism in the blogging section.

    Then you get lovely little articles like this:

    The Biblical Case Against Voting for A Mormon

    Be honest here. When have you ever heard or read of similar views about voting for an Evangelical from Mormons?

    Then there’s the sheer fact that Mormons actually DO vote for Evangelicals and Protestants – a lot.

    Oh, and apparently Mormons are inherently dishonest according to Christians:

    http://www.worldmag.com/articles/13472

    Then we’ve got those studies that seem to indicate that “flip-flopping” is just code for “I don’t like Mormons”:

    Vanderbuilt Poll Explains Why Romney-Flip-Flopper Sticks

    An excerpt from the article:

    “Bias against Mitt Romney’s religion is one of the reasons that the tag “flip-flopper” sticks with the former Massachusetts governor but not his Republican opponents, according to Vanderbilt political scientist John Geer. “There is no question that Romney has changed his positions on some issues, but so have some of the other candidates,” Geer said. “Why does the label stick to Romney but not his opponents? At least some of the answer lies in Romney’s Mormon beliefs.”

    Geer and colleagues Brett Benson of Vanderbilt and Jennifer Merolla of Claremont Graduate University designed an Internet survey to assess bias against Mormons, how best to combat it and its potential impact on the nomination process and general election campaign.

    “We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney’s Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue,” Benson said. “Our survey shows that 26 percent of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping, is their problem with Romney.” Benson noted that the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.”

    Essentially, I never really had much against Huckabee one way or the other. In fact, in the few debates I saw him in early in the Primaries, I actually liked him. Charming fellow who seemed like a straight-shooter. His religion didn’t play in at all really. Then the information began to trickle in. Just little things mostly. But then he pulled the cheap shot over Jesus and Satan and I was completely done with the guy.

    What happened in Utah isn’t even close to what happened in Southern Baptist country. I am not pleased with the Evangelical south at all at the moment.

  6. “Dr Dobson said in a statement yesterday that a vote for Huckabee is essentially a vote for McCain and if McCain wins the nomination he won’t vote.”

    Well, that’s a crappy position to take. I hope that Dr. Dobson (who I admittedly know nothing about) doesn’t talk politics if he/she refuses to vote. Do you have ANY idea how long people wait to get citizenship? How long people have to rely on the will of others to make their decision? What a blessing it is to have the ability to vote?

    To reject that because you don’t like who was nominated in your party… well, that’s a travesty to what this country stands for. I hope you aren’t promoting that others do the same, because it’s crappy.

    Now, off my soapbox and onto topic… a Mormon President is going to have the ear of the prophet–the mouthpiece of God. What other President can say that? A Mormon President will clearly be able to lead the country the right way. And if he doesn’t listen to the prophet? He can just be excommunicated or disfellowshipped. 🙂 Which will, of course, have no effect on reelection–being kicked out of your church.

  7. Dr Dobson said in a statement yesterday that a vote for Huckabee is essentially a vote for McCain and if McCain wins the nomination he won’t vote.

    If that’s how we’re supposed to vote, I think I could strongly make an argument that a vote for Romney is a vote for Clinton or Obama . . .but that’s off the point.

    Katie,

    I think if Romney left or got kicked out of the LDS church he’d win/have won the Republican nomination by a landslide.

  8. Seth,

    You won’t see me rushing to the defense of the Huckabee campaign at any point.

    And I have no doubt that many Mormons and many Evangelicals would have voted the same way for either candidate, but their religious affiliation can’t be over looked.

    I do appreciate Jay pointing out that Evangelical voters are much more diverse than the media is portraying. But I should point out that pastors are not allowed to endorse candidates and I’ve never once seen it happen (although I’m sure it happens). If they do, they will lose their tax-exempt status.

    I just made up a term for what I think would happen to Romney if he got the nomination. He’d get Smith-Boated. They wouldn’t have to bring up any of his own character flaws, they’d just show Joseph Smith’s.

  9. But I should point out that pastors are not allowed to endorse candidates and I’ve never once seen it happen (although I’m sure it happens). If they do, they will lose their tax-exempt status.

    I can’t claim to have seen it happen either, that’s why I said it was the feeling I got from reading news articles. In Iowa I remember reading an article where the pastor was going around to members of his congregation (after church) and meeting in their homes to discuss Huckabee and “clear up” any questions they might have about voting for him. This to me is wrong, even if it is not grounds for their tax-exempt status to be removed. It is only logical that this is how Huckabee’s campaign has been able to survive for so long. He has not had the money to do the advertising that other candidates have done.

    The other factor you are forgetting is the anti-Mormon factor. Everyone knows that Romney is a Mormon. A pastor could choose to give his “Mormon” sermon around the time of election. Not talking about Romney but knowing that is what his congregation will be thinking. I have been to enough Baptist meetings to know this would not be out of the relm of possibilities.

    Funny, I always thought McCain was a weaker option than Romney against Obama. Hillary? Well…

    I don’t think any of the GOP candidates are any match for Hillary or Obama. McCain is the strongest, but that’s just because he is basically a Democrat in everything but name. And he won’t win because he is a old white male going up against a woman or a black male. Democrats have the excitement of change on their side, while Republicans have the same old same old.

  10. But Mormons in UT overwhelmingly voted for Romney because he is the only conservative with an impeccable record. Tim’s argument is mostly true, but a viable test has not been given to Mormons, the way it was given to southern evangelical voters last night (SuperTues). What were Utah Mormons supposed to do, vote for Huckabee?

    Huck and McCain are wheelin’ and dealin’, not fighting for a Christian nation. How can Huck support McCain, who voted against a Marriage Amendment amonge many many other liberal votes? Huckabee went from preacher to politician more than ever in the past 4-5 months.

    The Evangelical bloc, for their part, deprived our country of a great candidate yesterday in the South. Like the AZ gubernatorial race, conservative values were put aside to vote religiously. Democrats will win in November like they did in AZ because Evangelicals wouldn’t embrace a Mormon candidate. Think of all the funding that will go to pro-choice programs; the appointment of judges; and the overall liberal agenda we will be subject to because they voted religiously. Their bigotry should make them ashamed of themselves.

  11. I don’t think any of the GOP candidates are any match for Hillary or Obama. McCain is the strongest, but that’s just because he is basically a Democrat in everything but name.

    That’s absolutely ridiculous. Just because Rush Limbaugh says it doesn’t make it true, especially since Rush has retroactively defined Republicanism and Conservativism as “as much like W as possible.”

    Look at McCain’s stance on Iraq and the military, and you will see why Democrats and liberals are currently absolutely terrified of him.

  12. The Evangelical bloc, for their part, deprived our country of a great candidate yesterday in the South.

    I think it will be easy for LDS to put the blame at the Southern Evangelicals feet (one more thing to hate EVs for) , but if Romney were a truly great candidate, he would have overcome it. If a candidate can’t overcome an obstacle it’s a fault of the candidate’s, no one else’s.

  13. While I’m disappointed that things haven’t gone better for Gov. Romney, I’ve come to conclude that this election year is not his time. I’ve been fascinated by politics ever since I watched the 1972 Democratic and Republican National Conventions as a young girl. I remember being at my Aunt’s house in 1976, and reading either Time or Newsweek, can’t remember which, but the cover was a picture of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and whoever else was running for the Republican nomination that year (can’t remember who) The article inside talked mostly about: Is this the best the Republican party can offer this year? Nowdays all the conservative candidates are trying to convince Republicans that they are the “heir” of Ronald Reagan. Everyone seems to have forgotten that, back in 1976, Ronald Reagan was just an also-ran, and no one had any idea of what was to come. Gov. Romney is still a relatively young man, and can run again, and I think he will be a stronger candidate when and if he does.
    I am grateful for the Evangelical support that Gov. Romney did receive–in my opinion, most all of the truly influential Evangelical leaders were very fair to him.
    In my opinion, the country is tired of the war, and tired of conservatives. I believe voters are going to want to elect someone moderate or liberal this time around.

  14. I think that there is some truth to this, but the particulars should also be considered. Utah is a very conservative state and McCain doesn’t line up on a lot of those values. Romney was a household name in Utah before running for Governor because of his success with the Olympics. He isn’t just Mormon, he also saved the state from embarrassment and so he has that personal connection beyond just religion. Further, there is real concern in LDS circles that Huckabee has hinted at anti-Mormonism, and I don’t think that this basically killed his chances at being a viable conservative alternative to McCain in Utah.
    Basically, while I think that there is some likelyhood that religion played a factor in many LDS votes in Utah, I also think that there were other considerations beyond just that.

  15. “if Romney were a truly great candidate, he would have overcome it. If a candidate can’t overcome an obstacle it’s a fault of the candidate’s, no one else’s.”

    So, if a black man cannot persuade a racist white man to vote for him, it is the black man’s fault?

  16. Far be it for me to defend Utah voters. But I’d point out that Utah is only 70 percent LDS. Since Romney’s percentage was a lot higher than that, the numbers suggest that non-Mormons were overwhelmingly voting for Romney as well.

    And for what it’s worth, my daughter, who is active LDS, voted Tuesday in Utah, and she didn’t vote for Romney. She voted for Obama and was very pleased to see that he carried Utah by a significant margin.

    Ama49 said: Dr Dobson said in a statement yesterday that a vote for Huckabee is essentially a vote for McCain and if McCain wins the nomination he won’t vote.

    That’s silly. A vote for Huckabee is a vote for Huckabee, period.

    Jay said: Huckabee is a bit more liberal when it comes to social programs, which may have turned a lot of Mormons off, but the rest of his conservative stance is exactly what Mormons like.

    Some Mormons. Check around the bloggernacle, and you’ll find quite a few of us Mormons who aren’t politically conservative. That is especially true outside Utah. Of the people I’ve talked to about politics in my ward, I’d guess about a fourth lean Democrat, about the same as the political climate of the neighborhood I live in.

    Seth R. said: Essentially, I never really had much against Huckabee one way or the other. In fact, in the few debates I saw him in early in the Primaries, I actually liked him. Charming fellow who seemed like a straight-shooter. His religion didn’t play in at all really. Then the information began to trickle in. Just little things mostly. But then he pulled the cheap shot over Jesus and Satan and I was completely done with the guy.

    I used to like him too. But when he started running as a Christian candidate rather than as a candidate who is a Christian, that turned me off. If he didn’t cross the line over what is an acceptable use of one’s religion in a political campaign, he came awfully close.

    Jay said: McCain is the strongest, but that’s just because he is basically a Democrat in everything but name.

    Huh? That’s like calling Hillary Clinton a Republican in everything but name because she stupidly voted for the Iraq war. McCain is basically a conservative who has tried to approach some hot-button issues in a nonpartisan way. That doesn’t make him a RINO.

    Jay said: This coupled with what they perceived as socialist leanings guaranteed that Huckabee would not get the Mormon vote.

    Socialist leanings? That was good for my chuckle today. And if that’s what Utah Mormons think, then Joseph Smith must have been a socialist too. The platform that he ran on as a presidential candidate was quite progressive for the era.

  17. Sorry, I’ve been away and haven’t responded. Taking the comments one at a time:

    Jay, #4: No, I’m not kidding. I’m one of those people who likes to make conclusions based on tested hypotheses.

    Jay, #3: “There is no other explanation for the huge win in Utah and perhaps in Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming also.” You might be interested to know that the LDS population in WY is ~10%, NV ~7%, and MT ~3%. Other states where Romney won (CO, AK) have even smaller LDS populations. Did every Mormon in AK vote for Romney? It’s a testable hypothesis.

  18. It’s apparent that people in Utah share similar thoughts. The 90% returns cannot be attributed exclusively to the Mormon vote. Consider that only 60% of the state belongs to the LDS religion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah#Religion) and you can see that there are half again as many people (60% +50% of 60%=90% of population) that are not LDS that voted for Mitt, and that supposes that all LDS people voted for Mitt.
    Harry Reid (D-NV) is also LDS. There is no way he would have received even half of the vote in Utah if he were to run for President. (http://hjnews.townnews.com/articles/2008/02/07/news/news02.txt)

  19. Kullervo, #13: “Look at McCain’s stance on Iraq and the military, and you will see why Democrats and liberals are currently absolutely terrified of him.” You hit the nail on the head!

  20. Kullervo said: Look at McCain’s stance on Iraq and the military, and you will see why Democrats and liberals are currently absolutely terrified of him.

    Yes, I agree. His military views are the biggest reason I couldn’t support McCain. At least he’s right on the torture issue, and I give him a lot of credit for that.

    Jay said: There is no other explanation for the huge win in Utah and perhaps in Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming also.

    Romney did well in Wyoming, Nevada and Montana because of his vastly superior campaign organization. Even if no Mormons had voted, or if they had voted for another candidate, he still would have won those states.

  21. Kullervo said : That’s absolutely ridiculous. Just because Rush Limbaugh says it doesn’t make it true

    I’m not a Limbaugh listener, so I don’t really know what he is saying (nor do I care). I do know that, like it or not, McCain is seen at very best as a liberal Republican and at worst a, get ready, Democrat. So whether you think he is liberal or conservative probably depends on where you lie in the political spectrum. I’m confident that there are many out there that think McCain is a moderate, but you won’t find them among social conservatives.

    TT said : Romney was a household name in Utah before running for Governor because of his success with the Olympics.

    Yes, I’m sure this played into his success too, but 90%!?

    TT said : So, if a black man cannot persuade a racist white man to vote for him, it is the black man’s fault?

    You can change your religion, but your stuck with your skin color. This doesn’t excuse bigotry against the LDS faithful, however religion is different than race.

    Eric said: … I’d point out that Utah is only 70 percent LDS. Since Romney’s percentage was a lot higher than that, the numbers suggest that non-Mormons were overwhelmingly voting for Romney as well.

    Not everyone voted for him because he was Mormon. Some may have voted for him because they actually thought he was the best candidate and other may have voted for him because of name recognition a phenomenon that happens even in places like California. The point is that those things will only get you so far. Getting close to 100% shows there is something else going on, there is no getting around that.

    Eric said: Check around the bloggernacle, and you’ll find quite a few of us Mormons who aren’t politically conservative. That is especially true outside Utah. Of the people I’ve talked to about politics in my ward, I’d guess about a fourth lean Democrat, about the same as the political climate of the neighborhood I live in.

    I’m aware that there are some more liberal Mormons out there. They tend to be more thoughtful about the issues. Problem is they are few and far between. I agree that living outside UT tends to liberalize Mormons somewhat, but you still have an overwhelming conservative majority. This isn’t necessarily bad other than you don’t have a lot of diversity of thought. People tend to discuss things in a one-sided way and pretty much think alike.

    Wow! 1/4th of the ward Democrats? That’s pretty high from my experience. I might guess about half that and I’ve live right outside D.C. in a very liberal area. I’m not saying there aren’t Mormon Democrats, I’m just saying they are a small minority of the total Mormon population especially in Utah.

    Eric said: McCain is basically a conservative who has tried to approach some hot-button issues in a nonpartisan way. That doesn’t make him a RINO.

    That’s not the perception of conservative Republicans and it’s been that way for some time, conservatives haven’t just started saying that McCain is a liberal in the last year. That was part of his problem the last time he ran for president too. He was seen as too liberal. So sorry if that offends some of you, but that’s just the way he is perceived.

    Eric said: Socialist leanings? That was good for my chuckle today.

    I’m not too sure why you found that funny, but I’m glad I could make you laugh. Everybody need a good laugh when talking about politics.

    BrianJ said: I’m one of those people who likes to make conclusions based on tested hypotheses.

    You crazy guy.

    Did every Mormon in AK vote for Romney? It’s a testable hypothesis.

    Not everyone, but probably the vast majority. And by the way, Romney also didn’t get 90% of the vote in those places either, although he did win by a comfortable percentage. I think it is a really tough sell to say that Mormons didn’t vote for Romney based on his religion when he received nearly 100% of the vote.
    It would be nice to see some statistics on Mormons and how they voted just like we saw for Evangelicals. I wonder why that kind of survey was not conducted? Has anyone seen any?

  22. Romney did well in Wyoming, Nevada and Montana because of his vastly superior campaign organization. Even if no Mormons had voted, or if they had voted for another candidate, he still would have won those states.

    No need to argue this point, Romney did run a strong campaign. I said “perhaps” precisely because I didn’t know how many Mormons live in those states although I personally know many that do. I thank everyone for correcting me. Here are where you can find the percentages that Brianj pointed out:

    http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_lds.html.

    He is quite correct about WY, NV and MT. Thanks Brianj. The Utah numbers, however, can not be argued (yes, I know only ~71% of Utah’s population are Mormon).

  23. 71% of Utah’s population are Mormon

    It’s more relevant to ask what percentage of Utah Republicans are Mormon.

  24. Here is an article I found that talks about the Mormon influence on the Nevada caucuses.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22743719/

    Although Mormons only make up 7% of the population they comprise a whopping 25% of those attending the caucuses and 9 out of 10 of them said they would be voting for Romney. I know I’m going out on a limb, but I’m guessing that WY wasn’t much different and there Mormons make up 10% of the population.

    Yes, Brianj those numbers are the results of a survey:)

  25. Jay: thanks for listening.

    Tim: Aside from statistical analysis, I’m still questioning your basic premise, “If it’s wrong to vote against Romney because he’s a Mormon, it’s equally wrong to vote for him because he’s Mormon,” particularly the “equally wrong” part. Is it really the same?

    I have a big problem with “Mormons Against Huck” and an equally big problem with “EVs Against Mitt” (both fictitious organizations, btw), and I also think it is reckless and stupid to vote for anyone solely on the basis of that person’s religion. But my stomach doesn’t turn when I find that lots of EVs supported Huckabee and lots of LDS supported Romney. Why?

    When faced with two candidates with similar appeal based on political platform**, why not decide based on “less tangible” qualities? Are women wrong to support Clinton in part because of her sex? Does a woman in the US stand to gain something by having a female president? Similarly, would Mormons gain something by having an LDS president? If a So. Baptist can’t decide between Romney’s and Huckabee’s and McCain’s platforms, but votes for Huckabee b/c of the religious connection, is that wrong?

    I realize that these issues get turned on their heads when turned around, so I am just asking the question. In other words, I don’t have an answer yet.

    **Note that I said “similar appeal” not “similar platform.”

  26. Yes Tim, it is relevant to ask that. But consider this as well. Romney has always done well in caucus states – where you’ve got an established network of GOP insiders calling the shots rather than an open populist election. Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah are all caucus states.

    Secondly, consider that the GOP elite have an absolute STRANGLEHOLD on Utah politics. It’s very much an insider’s game in Utah where you live or die by how you are doing within the party network, rather than generally on the streets.

    That may or may not have anything to do with the “Mormon factor.” Utah is just frankly oppressively homogenous in its politics – regardless of any religion thing going on.

    Funny you should mention that those are Communist regime numbers. A lot of Utah Democrats would probably agree with you!

  27. Another question: I know that EVs are not voting en bloc for Huckabee. I wondered how comparable that is to LDS voting for Romney. LDS is a single religious organization, whereas Evangelical includes dozens of separate (on some level) organizations. I don’t understand the “inter-connectedness” of EVs to know whether I should expect, say, a member of the Assembly of God to identify himself with a Southern Baptist candidate.

  28. http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/index.html#AZREP

    Go to page 4. 88% of Arizona Republicans voted for Romney. I think if you look up the Utah numbers, 94% of Utah Republicans voted for Romney.

    Brian, we’re supposed to believe that Mormons would have nothing specifically to gain from a Romney presidency. Similarly women would get nothing from Hillary and Blacks would get nothing from Obama. That’s what the candidates say at least.

    My main point in this post was to point out that Mormons are just as likely to vote on religious grounds (and perhaps more so) than Evangelicals. So Mormons shouldn’t complain that Evangelicals are more likely to vote for an Evangelical unless they are also complaining about the rest of Mormondom as well. Mormons can’t gnash their teeth at Huckabee voters without being hypocritical.

  29. Funny you should mention that those are Communist regime numbers. A lot of Utah Democrats would probably agree with you!

    Thanks Seth you made me laugh.

  30. Pingback: Green Oasis » Pot Meet Kettle

  31. At the risk of beating a dead horse (I think I killed it about two posts ago) Here is another article someone pointed out to me at newordermormon.org:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23022009/

    Here are some direct quotes which pertain to the topic at hand. I think it answers the question Tim was asking (What % of Republicans are Mormon in Utah?).

    “About 90 percent [that number look familiar] of Republicans at Utah polls said they were Mormon and that Romney shared their values.”

    “Honestly, yes, I’m voting for him because he’s LDS,” said Laroy Whitmore, a 40-year-old construction worker from the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy.

    To be fair the same guy mentions the Olympics also, but that was just a bonus.

  32. Jay 23:
    “You can change your religion, but your stuck with your skin color. This doesn’t excuse bigotry against the LDS faithful, however religion is different than race.”

    So, religious bigotry is totally justified? Only in the case of religious bigotry is it not the fault of the bigot that s/he is bigoted? What exactly is your point?

  33. Tim, 30: At first I couldn’t make sense of your comment. Then I understood that you meant, “Go to page 4. 88% of LDS Arizona Republicans voted for Romney.”

    Yes. Pretty convincing numbers—in a state that should not be substantially influenced by Mitt’s Olympic performance. I found similar polling numbers for Nevada on the same site, by the way. So there’s three states (UT, NV, and AZ) that show a very strong correlation of LDS:Romney voting. (I assume that ID would have been the same, if they had voted by now.) Thanks!

    “Brian, we’re supposed to believe that Mormons would have nothing specifically to gain from a Romney presidency. Similarly women would get nothing from Hillary and Blacks would get nothing from Obama. That’s what the candidates say at least.”

    Well, the candidates can say it, but it doesn’t make it true. Frankly, I think that blacks stand to gain a lot from having Obama in the white house. Women would arguably also gain from having Clinton (the argument I heard is: Women still make substantially less than males in similar occupational roles; a female president would help to erode gender stereotyping). Whether you agree with that argument or not, I think you have to agree that a person who does subscribe to that argument is justified in applying that to their decision. Do I think that Mormons would gain something from having a Mormon president? 100 years ago I would have said, “Of course!” but today I just don’t see it.

  34. P.S. Can anyone respond to my question in 29? When I look at the entrance/exit polls in Tim’s CNN link, I see religion broken down as “Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish,…” Should I expect Methodists and Lutherans to vote overwhelmingly for Baptist Huckabee? I wouldn’t expect Catholics to have any ‘special fondness’ for him.

  35. I don’t understand the “inter-connectedness” of EVs to know whether I should expect, say, a member of the Assembly of God to identify himself with a Southern Baptist candidate.

    There’s as many answers to that as there are Protestant denominations. There are some Protestants that would never vote for a Pentecostal just as they would never vote for a Catholic or a Mormon.

    About 13% of the country “fits” the Barna Group definition of “Evangelical”. They are spread out among every sect of Christianity and they can vary greatly on cultural and political stances. Now blow that number up to 65% of the country is self-defined Protestant. It’s not at all monolithic and it would be tough to guess what any given AOG would think of any given Souther Baptist would think of any given Methodist.

  36. The reason that Mitt Romney had so many Mormon votes is that Mormons finally got fed up with the bigotry out there. They couldn’t take it anymore. Utah is the most red state out there. They consistently vote republican, more than any other state. They sincerely and strongly believe in conservative principles; both social and fiscal. So as soon as a good man who happens to be Mormon starts running, the pundits and evangelical wing of the conservative movement start to wonder if a mormon is worthy enough to be president. Mormons have been consistently true to the conservative movement, but the bigots in turn can’t support a Mormon. This riled up the Mormons and hence the 90% vote. The vote was a mixture of support for the candidate and backlash to the bigotry.

  37. Tim: Thanks for the answer. I was afraid that it would be ambiguous (not your fault, of course!).

    You Barna numbers got me thinking on a tangent. Are there denominations, other than LDS, that consider themselves Christian but are not considered such by Barna?

    By the way, I noticed that Utah Mormon Democrats split their vote 60/40 for Obama/Clinton. Not that I can think how that is relevant to this post….

  38. There is no question that religion had a lot to do with what happened in the primaries (just as race and gender did). However, Romney wasn’t killed by losing the evangelical vote as much as losing the “mainstream” republican vote to McCain. If he can’t beat McCain in a primary he has no chance of getting elected in this climate.

    I don’t think you can chock it up to “bigotry” either, I think that many evangelicals genuinely have the belief that a Romney win would legitimize a hell-bound religion and that is a reason not to vote for him. (The beliefs are genuine even though they are, to me, silly)

    I also think many Mormons Genuinely think Romney would be a better leader because he is closer to the Spirit than non-Mormon Candidates. (a belief that I think is disproved by Romney’s political stances on a lot of issues)

    These are rational preferences given the core beliefs of such voters, not irrational prejudice. This is not to say that the beliefs themselves are not irrational, but thats religion.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Democrat and think both Huckabee and Romney are knuckleheads.

  39. Jay (#23)

    You can change your religion, but your stuck with your skin color. This doesn’t excuse bigotry against the LDS faithful, however religion is different than race.

    I highly recommend you check out the every-growing academic field of “whiteness” studies that examines how varieties of different immigrants to America (Irish, Jewish, Italians, etc.) became white. Race isn’t the definitive, end-all, never-changing characteristic that you make it out to be. Rather, it’s a very fluid social and cultural construct.

  40. You Barna numbers got me thinking on a tangent. Are there denominations, other than LDS, that consider themselves Christian but are not considered such by Barna?

    There are many sects of Christianity that are not considered “Christian” by the main orthodox body of Christianity. This is because they change or deny one of the fundamental principles of Christianity. This makes them an altogether different religion. There are hundreds of them. The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, and Moonies are the biggest name brands. The seventh day adventist and worldwide church of God once qualified in the category as well, but corrected their doctrine and came into orthodoxy, so they are now accepted.

    https://ldstalk.wordpress.com/2007/01/10/doctrine-twisting-in-the-wind/

    https://ldstalk.wordpress.com/2007/07/23/with-fear-trembling-mormonism-isnt-christian/

    Also, just in case there was confusion. Barna isn’t categorizing Evangelicals as “true Christians” but as a type of Christian.

  41. Speaking of politics, there’s been some interesting reaction to statements by a church leader this past week that Utah legislators should act with compassion toward immigrants, even the illegal kind, because they too are children of God.

    I’ll just leave it at that, and say it’s been interesting to read the reaction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s