Mitt Romney and Evangelical Resistance

A few days ago, I posted a little piece about the seeming reluctance of certain people — notably some Evangelical Protestants and a number of secular liberals — to grant Latter-day Saints fully equal status within American society and politics:

“Are U.S. Mormons Real Americans?”

An article published today in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News seems to bear out my strong sense that a significant part of the opposition to the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney among Republicans comes from Evangelicals, and that it’s based pretty much on purely religious considerations:

“Still Dogged by Evangelicals, Romney Rakes in Delegates”

(Thanks to Ed Snow for bringing this to my attention.)

It’s often noted that the wealthy Governor Romney appears to be having a hard time connecting with blue collar voters.  But is it economic status or religion that’s really the variable here?  Both in Michigan and in Ohio, if I’m not mistaken, Mr. Romney beat the outspokenly Catholic Rick Santorum among Catholics.  But he lost by a significant margin among Evangelicals (who, I’m willing to bet, loom large in the ranks of blue collar Republicans), and everybody knows that he’s likely to continue to fare relatively poorly in the (heavily Evangelical) South.

That Mr. Romney is still winning and is still (by a considerable margin) the frontrunner despite the powerful headwind of overt Evangelical hostility to his religion demonstrates, in my view, his strength as a candidate and the strength and competence of his campaign organization.

That hostility is still more than a bit dispiriting, though.

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