Exit Polls on Religion

CNN is publishing the exit polls, which provide some early information on the religious makeup of the electorate in the criticals states. Note that voters who were in line as polls closed are still voting, so final results, and final exits, are still some time off. 

Some interesting details, though, out of Virginia, Ohio, and Florida:

  • Florida: 70% of white Jews, who comprised 5% of the electorate, voted for Obama. Another data point had all Jews, also 5% of the electorate, going for Obama over Romney 66-31%. 24% of the respondents were white evangelicals, and 78% of them voted for Romney. Romney is winning Catholics, 52-48%, but 62-38% among white Catholics.
  • Ohio: In Ohio, exit pollsters did ask voters if they were “white born again Christian;” 31% said yes, and they went for Romney over Obama, 68-31%. (The Pew Religious Landscape Survey has Ohio’s white evangelical population at 26%.) 25% of the respondents were Catholic, and they favored Romney 55-44%. Romney is only doing marginally better among white Catholics only (21% of the electorate), 56-42%. Obama is winning among everyone other than white born-again Christians, 60-38%. 
  • Virginia: Virginia voters weren’t asked if they were white born again Christian or evangelical. The exit poll has Romney winning among white Protestants, who make up 41% of voters, 75-25%, among white Catholics (11%), 64-33%, but Obama is winning 89% of non-whites (33% of the electorate). Bonus point of interest in the Virginia exit poll: Obama is winning among voters who attend religious services weekly (44% of voters), 51-49%, among those who attend occasionally (36%), 53-47%, and among those who never do (17%), 65-34%.

Now we wait for the results.

 

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email