Jump directly to the content
Oct 11, 2012

New Research: Protestant Pastors Support Romney Despite Mormon Faith

Last fall, when it became apparent that Governor Mitt Romney would be a major player in the presidential race, some church leaders started to publicly discuss the distinct possibility of evangelicals not voting for a Mormon candidate.

Words like cult and false god were used by some of the more outspoken pastors to explain why they had to support other candidates. Meetings were held and the press began to pick up a theme-- evangelicals won't vote for Mitt Romney because their pastors don't think they should.

One year later, however, the tune seem to have changed... and, based on the strong words used during the primaries, I am surprised at just how much it changed.

In short, while our research last year showed 75% of American Protestant pastors did not believe Mormons were Christian, that apparently has not stopped them from intending to vote for a Mormon candidate.

A new survey from LifeWay Research (full release here) has found that 57% of Protestant pastors plan to vote for Governor Romney compared with 17% for President Obama (and it's higher among evangelicals). What may be surprising is that 22% percent are still undecided.

The Religion News Service already has a story on it posted at Christianity Today.

Interestingly enough, in a similar study during the 2008 election season we found that 55% of Protestant pastors planned to vote for Senator McCain compared with 20% for Senator Obama and 22% were undecided. In other words, support among pastors for President Obama has declined.

But there is even more evidence that Governor Romney's mormonism is not influencing pastors when they vote -- 82% of pastors who are NOT voting for Governor Romney say their decision was not at all related to his Mormon faith. And 60% of undecided pastors say their hesitation has not at all been influenced by Romney's faith. (See the story for the full breakdowns.)

While religion of the candidate does not appear to be a major factor, a pastor's political affiliation-- not surprisingly-- does. From the release:

The strongest indicator of voting intentions among pastors is their political party preference. Fifty-two percent of Protestant pastors identify as Republican, 16 percent as Democrat and 23 percent Independent.

Eighty-two percent of Republican pastors plan to vote for Romney, while 80 percent of Democratic pastors plan to vote for Obama. Forty-seven percent of Independent pastors plan to vote for Romney.

Also from the data:

  • 66% of self-identified evangelicals plan to vote for Romney while 9% are for Obama and 22% are undecided.
  • 44% of mainline pastors plan to vote for Romney. 28% support Obama, and 25% are undecided.
  • In the 2008, only 36% of mainline pastors planned to vote for McCain. 37% supported Obama, and 24% were undecided.
  • Voting intentions also had regional differences. Pastors in the Northeast (28%) are more likely to vote for Obama compared to those in the South (14%) and West (15%).
  • Pastors in the South (60%) are more likely to vote for Mitt Romney compared to those in the Northeast (50%).
  • In 2012, pastors age 18-44 (14%) are less likely to vote for Barack Obama than those age 55-64 (21%) and 65+ (23%).
  • 26% of pastors age 18-44 are still undecided.

Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.

Related Topics:None
Posted:October 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

Comments

Please read our comment policy before you weigh in, and then feel free to comment.
To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.
or
Subscribe
or

More From This Blog

Morning Roundup 9/2/15

Morning Roundup 9/2/15

Critiquing Well; Maintaining Marriages; Missionary Hero
Exploring Evangelicalism: The Southern Baptist Convention

Exploring Evangelicalism: The Southern Baptist Convention

Dr. Frank Page, President and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention explains their distinctives and some misconceptions.
Morning Roundup 9/1/15

Morning Roundup 9/1/15

Arminianism; Planned Parenthood Protests; Animal Welfare
Changes Are A-Comin’, They’re Comin' 'Round the Blog

Changes Are A-Comin’, They’re Comin' 'Round the Blog

We're making a few changes around the blog in a couple of weeks, and we'd love any input you have.

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

On this episode of The Exchange with Ed Stetzer:

Marc Pilon planted Axe 21 and founded Transform Quebec. Reach Global News covers the budding revival in Montreal, Canada.
From The Gospel Project: Trillia Newbell on The Gospel and Race
Bad church signs

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
New Research: Protestant Pastors Support Romney Despite Mormon ...