The Morning Buzz | June 6, 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?

Let’s face it, the British really know how to throw a party and the world loves watching them. Here are some pictures from Monday’s star studded Diamond Jubilee concert, which aired last night on ABC. If you’ve ever wondered where to get your own jelly mold of the Queen’s face, your search is over. Also, only 51 days until the 2012 London Summer Olympics!

While 2012 Mitt Romney denounces Obamacare’s individual mandate, 2006 Mitt Romney adamantly supports it according to emails the Wall Street Journal recently found. While this may upset Romney’s conservative base, it could help him among moderate voters. In our 2011 American Values Survey, we found that a plurality (43%) of moderate voters believe the health care reform law will lead to more people being insured, while only 23% of conservative voters believe this.

Some religious scholars, including Obama supporters, are criticizing the Obama campaign’s outreach to religious voters as “ad hoc” and without a clear mission, while others complain that the administration’s mandate requiring employers to provide insurance that covers birth control will hurt him among religious moderates, who turned to him in 2008. But the fallout over the contraception mandate is complex. Most Catholics overall support the mandate, but white Catholics–who tend to be older and more conservative than Catholics overall–are more divided.

Although the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker is over, Mother Jones released some interesting numbers about the landmark recall election in Wisconsin.

A win by Obama in the fall would seriously hurt Romney’s personal checkbook, while a Romney win could add to Obama’s bottom line. If Obama’s new tax plan goes into effect, it could cost the presidential hopeful $5 million. If on the other hand Romney’s tax plan is implemented, Obama would save $90,000. In September, we found that 70% of Americans favor increasing the tax rate on Americans earning more than $1 million a year.

Finally, it is doubtful that Romney or Obama will bring up their religious beliefs anytime soon in the 2012 presidential race, focusing more on the economy and jobs. One reason for the lack of zeal to lead with religion: fewer than 4-in-10 voters report that either Obama’s religious beliefs or Romney’s religious beliefs are similar to their own (38% vs. 30%). This shift is a stark difference from the Republican primary.

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