In our ongoing conversation about our faith and its relation to the 2012 election year events, I thought today we’d give the community a chance to discuss Newt Gingrich’s win in Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary. Exit polls make it clear that the evangelical vote made a huge difference in this contest.
Here are some of the reports. Add your own in the Open Mic discussion in the comments.
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In the ABC News report on Gingrich’s victory, they noted:
“The evangelical vote was crucial in today’s primary, more so than in Iowa and New Hampshire. Sixty-five percent of GOP voters in South Carolina today were evangelical Christians, compared with 57 percent in Iowa and 22 percent in New Hampshire.”
Dan Gilgoff, at CNN.com, reports:
“If there were any doubts that Newt Gingrich, a thrice-married convert to Catholicism, could connect with the evangelical voters who make up the Republican Party base, Saturday’s South Carolina primary put them to rest, with the former House Speaker winning twice as many evangelical votes as anyone else in the race.
“Evangelical Christians made up two-thirds of the South Carolina electorate on Saturday, and Gingrich took 44% of their votes, according to CNN’s exit poll.
“Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who rode evangelical support to victory in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses earlier this month, each got 21% of the evangelical vote in South Carolina.
“Gingrich got roughly the same share of the South Carolina evangelical vote as Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, did four years ago.”
CBS News’ analysis from their exit polls indicated:
“Despite recent allegations from his second wife that he wanted an open marriage, Gingrich’s personal issues were clearly not a priority among evangelical voters. Nearly half of evangelical voters – 45 percent – cited the ability to beat Obama as the candidate quality that mattered most in their vote decision, and they awarded 55 percent of their ballots to Gingrich. Only 21 percent of evangelical voters indicated that having strong moral character was the most important candidate quality in how they voted. While these morality-driven evangelical voters preferred Santorum to Gingrich 53 percent to 7 percent, there were just too few of them to have much of an impact on the overall vote.”
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So…what do you think?
As they might say in South Carolina, y’all know the rules — if you don’t you might want to read the FAQS/RULES under “About IM” at the top of the page.
Be good, ya hear?