No bump for Mitt Romney today in Rasmussen’s polls, which is mildly surprising given that he had his best week of the campaign and Mike Huckabee had his worst.  Huckabee stayed even at 19%, while Rudy’s lead jumped to 5% (really, watching these polls is like watching the stock market, except far more fun!).

Buried, however, within Rasmussen’s daily summary of the race was this gem of a sentence:

Evangelical Christians were less likely to know that Romney is a Mormon that other voters.

It’s true, it doesn’t say what the percentage difference is between evangelicals and other Republicans, nor does it say how those polled would factor that into their voting selection.  But it’s an interesting line for Rasmussen to include all the same.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

8 Comments

  1. Hey Matt, why do you like Huckabee? What does he have in his favor, other than being the most visibly Christian candidate? And further, do you really think he has a chance against, say, Hilary?

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  2. Rasmussen’s note about Evangelical voters is rather amazing, if true. Would that also suggest that Evangelicals are paying less attention to the race at this point than other Republicans? After all the attention to “the speech,” it’s strange to think that his intended audience might have been sleeping.

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  3. Disillusionment with the misuse and abuse of political power by the religious right is the root of this inattentiveness by evangelicals to the current election.

    Politics is about power and power corrupts even the those who claim to be righteous. It is disheartening.

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  4. Hm, I don’t know if it’s as much about power as it is about the way politics work in today’s America. Though power corrupts, there are many powerful people that have been revered for their virtues through history. Your statement, prufrock, makes it sound like it’s not possible to have a good candidate. I’d imagine it has more to do with the way the system works (media / democracy / etc.) and the kind of people who are generally successful at that game, than the general nature of power and leadership.

    I don’t really fall into the “religious right” demographic, but I’d imagine part of the apathy on their part is because Bush Jr. was “their President” and he kind of flopped. I would be suspicious of a repeat, too.

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  5. I do agree that it is a systemic problem that makes it is difficult for principled candidates to succeed. In the case of Presidential politics, the difficulty for candidates lies in achieving widespread public support without compromising their principles, which is very difficult. This is especially problematic for candidates with Christian ideals. Compromise is tolerable but the obvious political maneuvering of candidates on campaign issues, here I’m thinking of Romney, suggests a flexibility of principles that generates mistrust.

    One weak compliment that can be given the current President is that he is resolute but this makes it difficult for him to admit mistakes. Although many of his policies are conservative in the narrow American ideological sense, his Presidency has been anything but conservative of the political order of the United States. One example is that of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, a bone thrown to the religious right, but David Kuo noted in his book, Tempting Faith, that it was a cynical political calculation to create the perpetually-underfunded agency. Rove realized that they didn’t need the center to win so they exploited the electoral power of the religious right.

    Another example that does not beg a discussion of the separation of church and state is the actions taken by the Administration in the wake of September 11th and the “War on Terror” that have severely weakened civil liberties in America and destroyed our moral authority in the world with the blatant disregard of the Geneva Conventions in the treatment of enemy combatants. And let’s not forget that fact that the NSA is likely scanning this comment for keywords or that you can be put on the No-Fly Watch List for publicly criticizing the President. I hate sounding so paranoid but, when taken collectively, the radical policy changes made by the current Administration are very alarming and can hardly be considered conservative.

    Back to our original discussion, Ben, I would say that the religious right thought that Bush was their candidate but that was never actually true. There appears to have been a different agenda all along.

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  6. Matthew Lee Anderson December 12, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Ben,

    I’ve been meaning to type up a “status update” on my thoughts on Huck. Short story is that I think he’s the best chance Repubs have to win the general election. Also, Huck is the best communicator the Repubs have, which I think is crucial given the current political climate.

    Also, I think Huck is a prudent fiscal conservative. Illegal immigration has dropped in my list of concerns in recent months, so I haven’t thought about his new position on it.

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  7. Matthew Lee Anderson December 12, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Also, I think one of the surprising aspects of this race is that evangelicals are willing to give on fiscal issues if they think that a president is sound on life issues. My sense is that there is less disollusionment with Bush among evangelicals than there is with the rest of the party.

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  8. […] The standard line leading up to the Iowa victory was that Mitt Romney was losing support because of the evangelical rejection of his Mormon faith.  In fact, most pundits preferred to ignore evidence to the contrary, labeling Mike Huckabee’s rise as due to evangelical “identity politics” rather than as a result of any real or perceived weaknesses in Mitt Romney. […]

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