The Battle for the Southern, White, Evangelical, Working Class Vote

Reuters has an interesting article about the challenges Romney and Obama face with lower income whites in the south. Let's just say that being rich and Mormon complicates things for Romney:

Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled over the past several months shows that, across the Bible Belt, 38 percent of these voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is "very wealthy" than one who isn't. This is well above the 20 percent who said they would be less likely to vote for an African-American…

According to Reuters/Ipsos polling data, however, 35 percent of voters overall, and the same proportion of lower- and middle-income white Bible Belt voters, say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is Mormon.

Even the fact that a (rather shocking) number of Republicans believe President Obama to be a Muslim (the horrors!) is somewhat offset by Romney being a Mormon:

In a survey conducted this summer by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life, almost a third of Republicans said they believe Obama is Muslim, compared with 16 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats. The falsehood is a frequent theme of conservative talk radio.

Still, the challenge for the GOP is to ensure that white evangelicals, most of whom voted for other candidates in the primary, are sufficiently enthusiastic about Romney to make it to the polls…

In 2008, Parrish was a fan of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was defeated in the GOP primary. She counts him as a Facebook friend. She has yet to "friend" Romney, although she plans to vote for him.

"I'm not extremely excited," she confessed. "I'd prefer not to have a Mormon."

Nonetheless, she added, "Romney seems to align himself with conservative values."

Long story short, what would normally have been a slam dunk demographic for a Republican in 2012 ain't necessarily so. The Republicans certainly did themselves no favor by nominating a rich Mormon with the charisma of stale Wonder Bread. 

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