In winning the Louisiana GOP presidential primary, Rick Santorum won the majority of votes cast by white evangelical/born-again Christians, people who attend worship services weekly and voters who say it is at least somewhat important to have a candidate who shares their religious beliefs. He also won a clear victory among Catholic voters for the first time this primary season.
In winning the Illinois Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney continued to draw less support from white born-again/evangelical voters than from non-evangelicals, while Rick Santorum has yet to secure an outright victory among Catholic voters in any state for which data are available.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich finished in a virtual tie for first place among evangelical voters in both Alabama, where evangelicals comprised 75% of the electorate, and Mississippi, where evangelicals accounted for 80% of all GOP primary voters.
Exit polls from Super Tuesday primaries show that Mitt Romney continues to struggle among evangelicals, and Rick Santorum is yet to win among Catholics in any state where exit polling was conducted.
Currently, 49% of Democrats say that as they learn more about the GOP candidates, their impression of Obama is getting better. Just 36% of Democrats expressed this view in December, before the Republican primaries began.
In the caucuses and primaries that Mitt Romney has won so far in the race for the Republican nomination, Romney’s wins have come on the strength of his support among non-evangelical voters.
The vote in the GOP presidential primaries in Michigan and Arizona continued a pattern where Mitt Romney's support was weaker among born-again/evangelical voters than among non-evangelicals while Rick Santorum received his strongest support from evangelicals.
Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, answers questions about the 2012 presidential campaign so far and some of the trends that will shape this year’s congressional elections.
Rick Santorum’s has pulled into a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in polling conducted Feb. 8-12. Barack Obama holds sizable leads over Santorum, Romney and Newt Gingrich in general election matchups.
Romney's win included overwhelming support from Mormons and strong support from Catholic voters. He also won among white born-again/evangelical Protestants, though his support from that group continues to be somewhat more tepid than among non-evangelicals.