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Saturday, Apr 19, 2014

Study: God Talk May Help Santorum Win Nomination

  • (Photo: Reuters/Chris Usher/CBS News/Handout)
    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is pictured as he appears on ''Face the Nation'' from a remote location in Sterling, Virginia February 19, 2012.
February 22, 2012|8:52 am

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum should stop talking about his faith, according to some pundits. Analysis of a survey conducted last September by Lifeway Research shows, however, that Republican voters prefer candidates who talk about their faith.

"When a candidate running for office regularly expresses religious conviction or activity, how does that impact your vote?" the survey asked over 2,000 American adults.

About one in three Republicans said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who expressed their religious convictions and few Republicans (seven percent) said it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate, explained Scott McConnell, director of Lifeway Research, in a Tuesday interview with The Christian Post.

Additionally, another 24 percent of Republicans said it depends on the religion of the candidate.

"When half of Americans are Protestant Christian, and among Republicans even higher than that, we would expect that to be little more of an advantage for Rick Santorum than the other candidates," McConnell said.

Over the weekend, Santorum discussed how his own religious views informed his understanding of environmental policy, and contrasted those views with those of President Obama.

On CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Santorum said that Obama believes "that man is here to serve the earth, as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the earth."

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, senior religion editor for The Huffington Post, warned Santorum that such language could cost him votes.

"Santorum's recent comments should be a major turn off to anyone who understands that while all politics are informed by values, religious and secular, we should be very wary when politicians begin to assert religious creedal tests into electoral politics."

The LifeWay study, released earlier this year, indiciated that religious expression could help Santorum win the nomination, but could hurt his chances to win the presidency. While many Republicans favor faith talk from a candidate, Democrats and independents are not too keen on it.

Fifty-five percent of Democrats said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who expressed their religious convictions, and only four percent said they would be more likely to vote for the candidate.

Predictably, independents were between the partisans in the sample. Sixteen percent said they were more likely and 23 percent said they were less likely to vote for a candidate expressing religious convictions.

"It could be a strategy for a Republican candidate to talk more about religion here in the primaries, and possibly dropping some of that when it comes to [attracting] more independent and Democratic voters later," McConnell concluded.

The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 2.2 percent.

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-god-talk-may-help-santorum-win-nomination-70002/