The Morning Buzz | June 12, 2012

Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers?

Read David McCullough’s commencement speech at Wellesley High School where he gave his students a very important message, “You Are Not Special.”

Italy has introduced ice cream for dogs! I know my dog will love this!

African American and Gay Rights leaders gathered last Tuesday at New York City’s Stonewall Inn to discuss marching to protest the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practice on June 17th. This marks a major collaboration between two groups that haven’t always seen eye to eye. In March, we found that 51% of African Americans oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry (45% favor), but there is some evidence that opposition to same-sex marriage among African Americans is dropping.

While excited that fellow Mormon Mitt Romney has secured the GOP presidential nominee, many Mormons are also nervous about what could happen if Romney’s nomination pushes the faith back into the mainstream. In the past, Mormons have been misunderstood and scrutinized, especially by Southern Baptists and other evangelicals, who often considered Mormonism a “cult.” However, after Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination, evangelicals began seeing Romney more through the lens of partisanship and less through the lens of religion. In May, we found that while 49% of white evangelical voters  said Romney’s religious beliefs were different from their own, 67% still had a favorable view of the presidential nominee.

Washington Post’s The Fix has an interactive 2012 Election Map, which allows you to see their predictions for the 2012 presidential election and enables you to explore different factors that could impact the outcome, like unemployment, race, and income. In early June, Gallup showed Romney had a slight lead over Obama among registered voters, 46% vs. 45%.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush continues to speak out about the state of the Republican Party and called the president partisan climate “disturbing”. He believes it would have been difficult for both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush to receive the presidential nomination by today’s ultra-conservative Republican Party. Bush also gave Mitt Romney some words of advise, suggesting that he offer a broader and more intense approach to the immigration issue, especially when campaigning in Hispanic communities. In September, we found that 57% of Americans are in favor of the DREAM Act.

Finally, as the 40th anniversary of Watergate approaches, learn more about the scandal and the four other wars Nixon waged throughout his presidency.

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