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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Evangelicals

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

September 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Evangelicals try to forge links across old ethnic lines

Washington, D.C. — That African-American Christians tend to vote for Democrats is axiomatic in the political world. But that might be changing, as some evangelicals work with conservative African-American pastors on shared opposition to same-sex marriage. Harry Jackson, a Maryland-based pastor, talks about interacting with black evangelical voters at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, Sept….


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: African-American Christians, Bishop Harry Jackson, Evangelicals

September 15, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Beyond big-name speakers, conservatives tackle issues that matter to them

Washington, D.C. — Not everyone here was a veteran culture warrior, such as Gary Bauer or Tony Perkins, and there were plenty of other, perhaps more representative, social conservatives in attendance.

Some come because they’re worried about such perennial topics as same-sex marriage and abortion, and now the HHS mandate. Some, such as former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith (R-Wash.), are deeply concerned about social-justice.

Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.) addresses human-trafficking at the Values Voter Summit, in Wash., D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.) addresses human-trafficking at the Values Voter Summit, in Wash., D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Smith, who served in Congress from 1995-98, founded Shared Hope International, a Northwest-based nonprofit that fights domestic human trafficking.

While she was invited to speak by Perkins, she hopes to get people who oppose abortion to care, too, about those abused and neglected as adults, and become interested in other social-justice causes as a result.


Addressing a small crowd during one of the afternoon “break-out” sessions, she said that efforts to stop the sell and trade of minors in the sex industry should be an extension of the “pro-life” cause.

“Believers and conservatives should put this issue in its proper position,” and not treat it as tangential, she said.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: Evangelicals, HHS Mandate, Religious faith

April 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Is Rick Santorum on a recess, a re-assess or just being a dad?

Rick Santorum campaigning in Wisconsin (Photo courtesy of

Rick Santorum campaigning in Wisconsin (Photo courtesy of

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum — longshot version — is in the midst of a break this weekend, stepping off the campaign trail Thursday through Sunday.

Many in the political sphere began debating what this break means for Santorum following three defeats on Tuesday in primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

On Thursday, Santorum met with a group of conservative leaders who lean religiously evangelical. CNN reports that those in attendance included Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, as well as conservative activists Gary Bauer and Richard Viguerie.

Many took the meeting as a sign that Santorum might drop out of the race. Such news would be well received by some in the GOP. A number of Republican leaders have encouraged Santorum to end his campaign to help unite the party around front-runner Mitt Romney, which would allow supporters and the Romney campaign to focus campaign funds on the general election.

But not so fast with the “Santorum in 2016” T-shirts.


Comments | More in National | Topics: Bella Santorum, Evangelicals, Family

March 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum means Catholics vs. Evangelicals for the win in Wisconsin’s open, winner-takes-all primary

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum in Detroit, Michigan on February 25, 2012. (James Fassinger/The Guardian) and Mitt Romney (Photo courtesy of

A look at 2008 Wisconsin Republican primary results may provide some clues to how the voting Tuesday might turn out in the state’s important primary.

The Wisconsin primary was significantly earlier in the campaign calendar in 2008, taking place on February 19. Both 2008 and 2012, however, fall after Super Tuesday.

Wisconsin is “winner-takes-all” with a total of 42 delegates. According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, this style of primary means that the candidate who receives a plurality of the vote in any congressional district gains all three delegates from that district, and the statewide winner is entitled to all of the at-large delegates. Additionally, Wisconsin has an “open” primary, so voters do not need to declare any party affiliation to vote.

In the 2008 Republican presidential primary, John McCain won with 55% of the vote, taking 34 of the 40 delegates. Mike Huckabee received 37% of the vote and 6 delegates. Finally, Ron Paul came in with just under 5% of the vote, with no delegates. (Mitt Romney had dropped out of the race by this point.) Huckabee withdrew his candidacy just two weeks after the Wisconsin primaries.


Comments | Topics: catholics, Evangelicals, John McCain

March 26, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Party leaders, news media say Republican nomination is over, but Romney still faces landmines

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum bowls in Wisconsin on March 24, 2012. (Photo by Wausau, Wisconsin Daily Herald)

Note: this is the first of two related posts on the state of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow morning.

The leaders of the Republican Party and the national news media have decided that Mitt Romney is going to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012.

For example, national news outlets barely waved at Rick Santorum’s big win on Saturday in the Louisiana primary. The New York Times story included this as the second sentence: “The win gave Mr. Santorum a much-needed psychological boost but it will be unlikely to change the dynamics of the race.” And Politico led its coverage with this: “Rick Santorum picked up another win on Saturday in Louisiana, but the victory won’t significantly change the delegate advantage held by Mitt Romney in the GOP nominating contest.”

On Sunday morning, Republican establishment types left no doubt. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN, “I think the primary is over. Romney will be the nominee. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. But she’s warming up.” And former Mississippi governor and GOP insider Haley Barbour said on NBC, “Unless Romney steps on a land mine, it looks like he will be the nominee.”

Romney is certainly the most likely candidate to be the nominee, but I think it’s too early to make the call.

Many news outlets and the GOP leadership are ready to move on to the general election, but the party’s base of evangelical Protestants is not ready to do so. Romney has yet to win a state where the Republican electorate is more than 50% evangelical.

There are at least three serious land mines still out there for Romney.


Comments | Topics: bowling, Caucuses, delegates

March 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM

If Lehigh and Norfolk State can do it in the NCAA tournament, can Rick Santorum upend the Republican presidential contest?

For sports fans, this time of the year is known as March Madness. That’s the popular name ascribed to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, in which small schools, serious underdogs, sometimes defeat bigger, far wealthier, steeped-in-tradition programs.

March Madness is the official name of the NCAA basketball tournament (logo by NCAA).

It happened four times yesterday.

Two teams that are #15 seeds (among the lowest in the tournament), Norfolk State and Lehigh, upset #2 seeds and hoop icons Missouri and Duke, respectively. In the history of the NCAA men’s tourney, only four #15 seeds had beaten #2 seeds. It happened twice yesterday.

Further, a #13 seed, Ohio University, upset one of the legendary sports programs in the nation, University of Michigan.  And a #12 seed, University of South Florida, knocked off a #5, Temple.

It was quite a day. Personally, I’m a huge Michigan fan — but I found myself caught up in rooting for the underdog Ohio U. Watching David knock off Goliath is something special.

There are favorites and underdogs in politics, too. And right now, the underdog has got a shot in the Republican Party presidential primary. It’s a long, long, long shot — but it’s still a chance. And when there is a chance, sometimes things happen. Like in 2008.


Comments | Topics: Alabama, Bill Clinton, Caucuses

March 14, 2012 at 5:30 AM

Romney's problems with evangelicals doomed him in Alabama and Mississippi, will likely continue

Rick Santorum is Roman Catholic. This is not news: he is far from shy about his Catholicism. More generally, he is as outspoken about religious faith as any major presidential candidate who’s had success has ever been.

Santorum swept Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi last night. This is no small matter. Catholics don’t win GOP primaries often, and certainly not in the South, where evangelicals make up large percentages of the Republican electorate. Among yesterday’s voters, 74% in Alabama self-identified as evangelical, and 80% in Mississippi self-identified as evangelical.

I study religion and politics in America. I find it almost impossible to believe that Santorum would be winning Republican primaries in the South were his central rival for the nomination, Mitt Romney, not Mormon in religious faith.


Comments | Topics: advertising, Alabama, Caucuses

March 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Exit polls show evangelical Christians out in force today, Ohio mixed bag for Mitt and GOP

CNN is slowly dribbling out some information right now from early exit polls in Super Tuesday contests today. Here’s a couple quick nuggets of interest: About 45% of voters in Ohio identified as white evangelical Christians, per exit polls. That figure was 40% in 2008. — Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) March 6, 2012 Big test for Romney… RT…


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, conservatives

March 6, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Ron Paul on message in Idaho, but some still pondering

Ron Paul speaks at a Town Hall in Sandpoint, Idaho on March 5, 2012

A packed house listens to Rep. Ron Paul at his first rally of three in Idaho today. (Photo by Alicia Halberg / UW Election Eye)

SANDPOINT — I wish I had started counting right away.

At a campaign stop Monday at the Bonner County Fairgrounds hall filled with a standing-room only crowd here in Northern Idaho, Ron Paul hammered President Obama and his Republican opponents on economic policies and highlighted abolishing the Federal Reserve — making the latter point what must have been more than 20 times.

But I started counting too late to know the exact tally. At minimum, it was more than enough to get the point across.

Fliers around the room and posted on the doors highlighted caucus locations in Bonner County, something which introduction speakers made very clear at the beginning of the event. Energy was high and many event attendees said that this was their first political event.

“Nobody ever comes to Sandpoint,” said one young attendee who preferred his name not be used. “Usually we would have to go to Coeur D’Alene or Spokane to see somebody this important. It’s great that he cares about small towns like ours.”

Paul stuck to many of his regular talking points — such as returning to the gold standard, and highlighting big government as the cause of today’s economic issues, not the solution — but he also took steps to tailor his speech to the Idaho crowd, something he rarely does.

“Sandpoint is a small town, but it’s an important one in the cause for liberty,” he said.

An introduction speaker said that Paul was the godfather of Idaho’s state’s rights movement.

The liberty-hungry crowd gave massive applause to abolishing federal welfare programs, even in this economically depressed region.

“When the government is small, the people are big,” Paul said. “The Founding Fathers didn’t intend for this to be a democracy; they wrote the Constitution for a republic … The bigger the government gets, the less liberties we have. We can’t fix everything by making the government bigger — it’s what got us into this mess in the first place. The government doesn’t have any money, it only has the money that it steals from people!”

The crowd went wild.


Comments | Topics: Caucuses, conservatives, Evangelicals

March 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Idaho political landscape: quick facts and a brief electoral history

Spokane County Republican Caucus Results Map

Paul’s percentage in Spokane county was almost cut in half from 46.6% in 2008 to 26.5% on Saturday, which gives Romney reason to smile. (Photo from Google Elections)

SANDPOINT — For the first time in their history, Idaho’s Republicans will hold a presidential caucus on Super Tuesday instead of a primary in May. With Mitt Romney enjoying momentum from his fifth win in a row Saturday in Washington — along with a string of new endorsements — he stands a strong chance of capturing most if not all of Idaho’s 32 delegates.

But with no Idaho polling data to work with this election cycle, what can the 2008 primary tell us about Idaho’s GOP voter landscape?

In Idaho’s 2008 Republican primary, John McCain took home the prize with 70% of the vote to Ron Paul’s 24%. That primary was held on May 28, long after McCain had already secured the party’s nomination. Romney had already dropped out and did not appear on Idaho’s ballots.

Idaho was Paul’s single best state that year. This past Saturday, Paul swept Washington’s counties bordering Idaho, save for Spokane County. It’s worth noting that Paul’s percentage in Spokane county was almost cut in half from 46.6 to 26.5% from four years to this year, which gives Romney reason to smile. That said, a look at Google’s search trends over the past week in Idaho shows a leveling-off of Romney searches, but a steady increase in those for Paul.

What is the breakdown of statewide Republican politics in Idaho?


Comments | Topics: Caucuses, conservatives, Demographics

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