Religion Splits Tennessee Republicans: Poll

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MURFREESBORO – Church-going Tennessee Republicans favor Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney by nearly six to one, a sharp contrast with the more balanced percentages among state Republicans who attend religious services less often, the latest MTSU Poll shows.

“It’s unclear whether these church-going Republicans like Santorum’s religiously conservative positions on social issues, dislike Romney’s Mormon faith, or have some other reason for preferring Santorum,” Dr. Ken Blake, MTSU associate professor of journalism and director of the MTSU Poll, said. “But the pattern suggests that most of Santorum’s Republican base in Tennessee can be found in pews on Sunday morning.”

Among the 196 Republicans interviewed for the poll – 34 percent of the poll’s overall sample – 64 percent said they attend worship services “almost every week” or less often, while 36 percent said they attend every week. Among those who attend almost every week or less often, 32 percent favor Santorum compared to a statistically equal 22 percent who favor Romney. The rest favor someone else or give no answer. By contrast, among those who attend every week, 61 percent favor Santorum, 11 percent favor Romney, and the rest favor someone else or give no answer.

Given that the analysis is based on a subset of the poll’s full sample of 646 Tennessee adults, the percentages among all Republicans might not be as dramatic as those in the randomly selected Republicans who were polled, Blake noted. “But the differences are too large to have shown up in the poll because of random factors. Tennessee Republicans who spend the most time in church also are significantly more likely to back Santorum.”

The poll did not probe respondents’ feelings toward Romney’s Mormon faith or toward the Roman Catholic Santorum’s stances on contraception, gay marriage and abortion.

For over a decade, the Survey Group at MTSU has been providing independent, non-partisan and unbiased public opinion data regarding major social, political, and ethical issues affecting Tennessee. The poll began in 1998 as a measure of public opinion in the 39 counties comprising Middle Tennessee and began measuring public opinion statewide in 2001. Learn more and view the full report at
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Members Opinions:
March 04, 2012 at 12:54pm
Few Bible-believing Christians will vote for a cultist even if he is more conservative. If the Republican nomination goes to Romney then it's a guarantee of four more years of Obama.
March 04, 2012 at 1:58pm
My fear Redeemed is that no matter who the Republican nominee is we will see four more years of Obama anyway.

There is a reason why there have been so many ups and downs and highs and lows between all candidates and that is because there is not a true conservative amongst the lot of them. Everyone is searching, but no one is finding that person.

Whoever it turns out to be the one solution is to UNITE behind that nominee and use that power to defeat Obama.

March 05, 2012 at 8:57am
If I were a self proclaimed atheist like you MMW I would just sit at home and not worry about it.

March 05, 2012 at 9:26am
Atheists have a reason to worry about how religion might influence politics and government. Everyone does.
March 05, 2012 at 10:15am
Perhaps, but instead of worrying about how religion might influence politicts it has been my belief that many of them spend their time worrying about how politics can influence religion.

As seems to be the case in most of the posts I have seen from MMW in my opinion.
March 05, 2012 at 11:48am
Atheism is a belief system just like any other religion. It has it's evangelists and preachers. It's just not as believable or reasonable as any sort of Theism. (the Universe that so perfectly supports life, spawned by chance from nothing? Right!!!

I suspect that's why it's adherents tend to scream louder and rant more than any other. I think they're still trying to convince themselves. Too bad God doesn't believe in atheists.
March 05, 2012 at 3:15pm
MMW I am not sure how you get it is trying to bully someone by quoting their own words?

You have written that you were an atheist under the name dailyreader and under MMW.

You have never denied it under either pen name.

Nothing anyone has written above is derogatory or perjorative in any way.

It is however, truthful and factual.
March 05, 2012 at 6:28pm
I agree. You do protest too much MMW.
March 05, 2012 at 6:46pm
I may one day make it my mission to see if it is possible to bring civility to the online relationship between MMW and Corey. It may be the most difficult task I have ever assumed!
March 06, 2012 at 6:25am
Doubtful it will happen.

It is oil and water.

March 07, 2012 at 7:14am
Both of you are correct, and I am a bonehead for believing I could exert some influence over the situation. It's something that each of you would have to find within yourselves.
March 07, 2012 at 3:33pm
MMW I was more inclined to think you were more like Bill Maher than Sandra Fluke.

I think you insult Ms. Fluke almost as bad as Limbaugh did when you compare yourself to her.

By the way, you reap what you sow.

If you want something different then try to be different and watch the change around you.
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