Exit Poll: 21% of Evangelical Voters Supported Barack Obama

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 9, 2012   |   11:26AM   |   Washington, DC

Exit polling data has shown the number of evangelical voters was higher in 2012 than in the 2008 election — in what should have been a good sign for the pro-life movement and GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

However, further analysis of the data shows that even though pro-abortion President Barack Obama lost among white evangelical Protestants and white Catholics, almost one-quarter of evangelicals voted for him despite his massive pro-abortion record.

A Pew analysis of the religion of voters reveals more details about how they voted:

“Black Protestants also voted overwhelmingly for Obama (95%). At the other end of the political spectrum, nearly eight-in-ten white evangelical Protestants voted for Romney (79%), compared with 20% who backed Obama. Romney received as much support from evangelical voters as George W. Bush did in 2004 (79%) and more support from evangelicals than McCain did in 2008 (73%). Mormon voters were also firmly in Romney’s corner; nearly eight-in-ten Mormons (78%) voted for Romney, while 21% voted for Obama. Romney received about the same amount of support from Mormons that Bush received in 2004. (Exit poll data on Mormons was unavailable for 2000 and 2008.)”

White voters attending Protestant churches were more inclined to vote for the pro-abortion candidate.

“Among white mainline Protestants in the exit poll, 54% voted for Romney, while 44% supported Obama. This is virtually identical to the 2008 election, when 55% of white mainline Protestants voted for McCain and 44% backed Obama,” it said.

The Obama abortion–HHS mandate clearly had an impact on the Catholic vote, Pew maintained.

“White Catholics, by contrast, swung strongly in the Republican direction relative to 2008. Nearly six-in-ten white Catholics (59%) voted for Romney, up from 52% who voted for McCain in 2008. Three-quarters of Hispanic Catholics voted for Obama, and Catholics as a whole were evenly divided in 2012 (50% voted for Obama, while 48% backed Romney),” Pew noted.



Pew also indicated voters who more frequently attend church were more likely to vote for Romney over Obama.

“As in other recent elections, those who attend religious services most often exhibited the strongest support for the Republican presidential candidate. Nearly six-in-ten voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week voted for Romney (59%), while 39% backed Obama. Romney received as much support from weekly churchgoers as other Republican candidates have in recent elections,” it said.

But non-churched voters continue to be a problem for pro-life advocates and are the voters they need to do a better job of persuading.

“Those who say they never attend religious services were again among the strongest Democratic supporters in the presidential election. More than six-in-ten voters who say they never attend religious services voted for Obama (62%). Voters who say they attend religious services a few times a month or a few times a year also supported Obama over Romney by a 55% to 43% margin,” Pew said.