Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Minority of Republican Voters Tend To Vote Against Mr. Romney Because of His Religion

Is This Good News or Bad?

The new Washington Post/ABC News poll does not shed any new light on the Republican contest for the Presidential nomination.  The poll shows Mr. Romney and Mr. Cain are still the leaders, but it was taken too soon after the continuing revelations about Mr. Cain’s involvement in sexual harassment charges and his response to be meaningful.  It will take several more weeks before polls can accurately measure the impact of those charges.

One interesting facet of the poll is its findings on whether or not Mr. Romney’s Mormon religion will play a part in the campaign.  The poll found this.

Nearly half of all of the Republicans polled say they are less likely to support Romney because of his work on health care, and the number peaks at 55 percent among the most conservative. Overall, 20 percent are less likely to vote for him because of his religion, but that rises to 32 percent among those who are very conservative.

The question arises “Is this good news or bad news?”  The respondents do not say they will not vote against Mr. Romney because of his religion, only that they are less likely to do so.  Also, looking at the reverse of the answers, the poll shows 80% of Republicans and that 68% of very conservative voters will not take Mr. Romney’s religion into consideration.

Looking at it that way the news seems rather good, or at least not too bad, and in the spirit of trying to see a positive factor in American politics, that is the way The Dismal Political Economist will interpret the findings.

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