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Why Do Evangelicals Not Support Romney?

Perry's support among evangelicals is lower than Mitt Romney's.
Photo by Ben Philpott, KUT News
Perry's support among evangelicals is lower than Mitt Romney's.

This morning on KUT, we reported on therole evangelicals would play in the 2012 election, specifically the GOP primary. Part of the story focused on the tenuous relationship between the religions right and on-again-off-again Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, a new poll out today from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life puts a number on why some evangelicals aren't supporting the Romney campaign.

Pew's research shows more than half of white evangelicals polled do not believe the Mormon religion is Christian. 

Among all Republican and Republican-leaning voters, Romney leads the field.  Among just white evangelical voters, he drops to third place.

But Romney still beats Governor Rick Perry 17 percent to 12 percent among evangelicals, a troubling sign for Perry's campaign, given that Christian conservatives supposedly account for his base of support. 

If Romney were able to win the nomination, all would be forgiven. Ninety-one percent of evangelicals said they would vote for Romney over President Obama. 

Here's a rundown of where the candidates stand among different conservative religious groups:

All Rep/Lean Rep

Mitt Romney                  23
Herman Cain                  22
Newt Gingrich               16
Ron Paul                       8
Rick Perry                     8
Michele Bachmann         5
Rick Santorum               2
Jon Huntsman                1
Don't Know                   14

White Evangelicals

Mitt Romney                  17
Herman Cain                  26
Newt Gingrich               19
Ron Paul                       7
Rick Perry                     12
Michele Bachmann         5
Rick Santorum               3
Jon Huntsman                1
Don’t Know                    10

White Catholics

Mitt Romney                  26
Herman Cain                  23
Newt Gingrich               19
Ron Pau                        8
Rick Perry                     5
Michele Bachmann         4
Rick Santorum               2
Jon Huntsman                0
Don’t Know                    14

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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