Most Unexpected Voting Result

Here’s a bit of demographic data that I would never have guessed. Mitt Romney got 78% of the Mormon vote in last week’s election. George W. Bush got 80%. I find that very interesting.

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  • Trebuchet

    The problem with that statistic is that it’s based on exit polling. If I ever get exit polled (which I won’t, we vote by mail) I plan to lie my ass off. I also lie to the people calling on the phone to take a poll. After telling them I’m going to do so and they proceed anyhow.

  • sawells

    Presumably Romney didn’t actually bother asking for their votes because he assumed he’d get them automatically.

  • It’s all probably within the margin of error.

  • brucegee1962

    My neighbor votes Democratically, but is registered as an Independent, so he gets calls from both sides. When he got a call from the Romney campaign, he claimed to be a Newt Gingrich supporter who was so disappointed that Gingrich didn’t get nominated that he was going to vote for Obama. Just trying to mess with her head.

  • According to the folks ive talked to, a lot of mormons felt he wasn’t really mormon enough. He did a lot of deceptive things to make mormonism look more mainstream (like calling himself a “pastor”, pfft). I think they wanted him to act like a missionary.

    There is also the very important fact that the church did not outright tell people to vote for him. The church went out of their way to appear non-partisan because of previous political disasters that almost cost them their tax exempt status. If the church had commanded it then I don’t doubt a 95% or more rate of mormon voting for Romney.

  • abb3w

    @1, Trebuchet:

    The problem with that statistic is that it’s based on exit polling.

    Exit polling is imperfect, just like regular polling. However, you might want to keep in mind how much egg on their face the GOP have at the moment from ignoring polling data. A slightly more valid basis of concern is that (as the fine print says) these results are preliminary, and may need slight re-weighing based on demographics; however, that usually just gives a minor tweak.

    @3, holytape

    It’s all probably within the margin of error.

    That was my initial reaction; however, a closer look suggests that’s not the case. The size of the total poll pool is f***ing huge. Though we’d need an extra decimal place (or the raw counts) to be sure, it’s very plausibly within p < 0.05 significance.

    My immediate suspicion would be the large number of Mormons with higher education, and the Mormon’s comparatively youth-heavy lean relative to other Christian groups. Either suggests the GOP can’t afford to go deeper into the Derp without significant hazard of losing even more of the Mormon vote.

  • abb3w

    @5, skeptifem:

    According to the folks ive talked to, a lot of mormons felt he wasn’t really mormon enough.

    I admit, I’ve not actually talked to any Mormons on the topic. I’m merely going from what the other demographic results would leave unsurprising. If your anecdata is representative, that would suggest the GOP indeed does have room for deeper Derp without risking loss of the Mormons, after all.

  • Dennis N

    I find the incompetent doofus, who never should have been let near power, Bush to be more likeable than the smug snake Romney.

  • Tualha

    Bet he got 100% of the moron vote.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Bet he got 100% of the moron vote.

    I’ll take that bet. Don’t forget the “Obamaphone” video lady (if in fact she voted).

  • abear

    Fellow Mormon Harry Reid challenged Romney to show his taxes.The way that Romney resisted the call , finally releasing only one year as well as his constantly shifting positions may have convinced many Mormons he isn’t an honest, straight up guy.

  • IslandBrewer

    “Faith” (TM) is often very important to Mormons. Le Petit George oozed a sincere belief in the giant sky fairie to such a degree that True Believers (TM) found him irresistible. Romney, on the other hand, can’t possibly ever appear sincere about anything (except his own ambition and contempt for others, of course).

  • jba55

    I talked to a LDS friend of mine about it and she claimed that most of the church she attended wouldn’t be voting for him. She hates him herself, but wouldn’t have voted republican anyway. But even her right leaning family didn’t vote for him, partly because of his track record in governing Mass, partly because he’s an empty suit. I was surprised, mormons tend to be very tribal.

  • kaboobie

    The one Mormon I know voted for Obama. Granted, she was liberal and a strong LGBT ally long before she joined the LDS, and her conversion to Mormonism is still something I can’t wrap my head around.

  • Romney apparently lost the gay mormon vote.

  • Artor

    I’m not terribly surprised. Mormons as a whole are used to voting Republican, and will probably continue to do so in the future. But Rmoney was such an awful candidate, and he either tried to hide his Mormonism, or ended up making it look ridiculous, that it’s no wonder he actually turned off a bunch of his co-religionists.

  • eric

    You think that’s bad? I would bet that less than 10% of nonbelievers voted for a nonbeliever candidate. 🙂

    I snark for a point: there’s no reason to think that Mormons base their vote solely on religion any more than we do.

  • Marcus Ranum “Romney apparently lost the gay mormon vote.”

    The preferred term is “Homormon”.

  • Paul W., OM

    It doesn’t surprise me at all.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if several percent of Mormons voted against Romney because they take the social justice part of their religion seriously, and can see that Romney doesn’t.

    The Mormons officially believe in social responsibility—and some of them actually believe it—and think that society has a duty to take care of the worst off, with people sacrificing their self interest for the common good.

    That’s why the beehive is a symbol of Mormonism.

    Mormons have a social safety net of sorts. One of the purposes of obligatory tithes is to provide aid to the poor.

    I’m sure many sincere, well-meaning Mormons can see that non-Mormons don’t have such a safety net, and that Mitt would systematically destroy the only safety net most non-Mormons do have.

    I’d also guess that a significant percentage of Mormons held their noses and voted for Romney just because he’s a Mormon, to promote the image of Mormonism, despite the fact that they think he’s neither a very good Mormon nor a very good person. It was likely their only chance to see a Mormon in the White House in their lifetimes.

    I could be wrong. Statistics about Mormon support for Obamacare would be interesting—how many Mormons think Romneycare was good, and Mitt went over to the dark side in promising to destroy Obamacare.

    And I’m sure some Mormons felt free to vote against Romney for various other reasons, because they know a lot of Mormons, including some real assholes, and know that being Mormon isn’t the most important thing in a president.

    Even if the difference between W.’s numbers and Romney’s is due to sampling error or miscellaneous polling bias, it’s still interesting that their numbers are so similar.

    Presumably some Mormons voted for Romney mainly because he was a Mormon, and many fewer would vote against him because of that. The numbers being similar anyway seems to indicate that Mormons didn’t like Mitt as well as W. in other respects.

  • jamessweet

    I’ve seen some signs of liberalization within the membership of the Mormon church (certainly not from the hierarchy, of course; in fact I sometimes wonder if some of that is a pushback against the strictures of the hierarchy: they’ll go along with values that don’t seem right about them if it’s suggested by a leader, but when it’s demanded then they bristle enough to push back — look at the fallout from Boyd Packer’s infamous talk in 2010, which saw almost as much outrage from within the church as from without). It could be as simple as that: Perhaps there are more Mormons today who are fed up with the backwards social agenda of the GOP than there were in 2008.

    skeptifem’s suggestion also seems highly plausible. Having been raised Mormon, I myself found a lot of Romney’s language a little head-scratchy: He didn’t sound Mormon. See, even as an ex-Mormon, I can often spot a Mormon a mile away just by some of the word choices, but Mitt never really spoke the lingo.

  • Maybe some Mormons were happy to vote for a stupid SCOP like W., but didn’t want a stupid Mormon SCOP to bring embarrassment on their own church.

    Or it could be a gradual demographic change we’re seeing, and maybe the percentage of Mormons voting PoG in 2016 will be two or so points lower still.

  • Also, maybe Romney’s BFF Donald Trump turned a few Mormons off. (And what the FUCK was Mitt thinking when he brought that assclown on board? If he wanted to project an image of no-nonsense businessmen creating jobs and saving America, couldn’t he have at least brought on someone from Clan Marriott?)

  • The Mormons officially believe in social responsibility…

    The fact that MORE THAN THREE FOURTHS of them voted for the most socially irresponsible coalition since the 1930s kinda makes me wonder what you mean by “officially.”

  • mikeymeitbual

    My family is LDS and I know at least 2 of the 5 that are actively LDS voted for President Obama. One of those 2 voted GOP until the 2008 election, almost exclusively due to the GOP’s stance on abortion.

    More anecdotal “evidence”, I know, but coming from Idaho, which has more per-capita LDS members than any other state, I think that really says something about Romney’s trustworthiness.

  • The Mormons officially believe in social responsibility—and some of them actually believe it—and think that society has a duty to take care of the worst off, with people sacrificing their self interest for the common good.

    this is bullshit. they believe in taking care of their own and screw everyone else. you can see this reflected in every god damned thing the church does and that members accept eagerly. Even relief offered to non-members is treated more as a publicity stunt than anything else, a big advertisement that mormons help, too! That is why the church only gives about one percent of its money to aid, and then goes on to build 5 billion dollar malls across from the church office building. If mormons took this seriously there would be OUTRAGE about the city creek mall, but theres not.

    I’ve heard more than one mormon say that welfare and social programs should be eradicated because if people were smart they would just join the church and get taken care of that way. The church can do it better than the government, according to them. Its a system of privatized social programs. The lack of transparency means the average mormon doesn’t know that their tithing isn’t being spent on helping people but they assume the best of their god-appointed leaders, they think of them much more highly than someone who was democratically elected.