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January 3rd, 2012
11:01 PM ET

Santorum benefits from evangelical surge, but born-again Iowans splinter

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN)--Rick Santorum rode a largely evangelical wave of support to finish eight votes behind Mitt Romney in the Iowa Republican caucuses Tuesday night, according to CNN entrance polls, but the evangelical bloc nonetheless appeared to be seriously splintered.

Santorum garnered 34% of evangelical caucus-goers, according to entrance polls, the libertarian Ron Paul garnered 18%, while Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry each took 14% of that vote. Michele Bachmann won 6% of evangelical caucus-goers and Jon Huntsman won 1%.

The entrance poll reflects an evangelical consensus against Romney, who won a plurality of Iowa’s nonevangelical caucus-goers, but also showcases evangelical disagreement over the best alternative to the former Massachusetts governor, considered to be the establishment candidate and the national front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron, noted that Romney did worse among Iowa evangelicals on Tuesday night than he did as a presidential candidate four years ago, when he won 19% of evangelical Iowans.

Some evangelicals oppose Romney because of his Mormon faith, while others distrust him because of his past social liberalism on issues such as abortion, though Romney says he is now against abortion.

Ron Paul, also a candidate in 2008, roughly doubled his evangelical support from four years ago.

Some 58% of Iowa caucus-goers on Tuesday identified as evangelical, according to entrance polls, about as many as in 2008, when Huckabee was seen to have provoked a spike in evangelical turnout.

This year, the intense pursuit of evangelical votes by several candidates, especially Gingrich, Perry, Santorum and Bachmann, might have kept evangelical numbers up.

Tuesday night marked a departure from 2008, when one candidate – Mike Huckabee – won about half of the Iowa evangelical caucus-goers.

For Huckabee, though, evangelical support was as much hindrance as help, as the former Baptist preacher struggled to break out beyond evangelical voters for the rest of the GOP primaries.

Get the latest news on the Iowa caucuses

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics

soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Brandens Mitchq

    Wow! this cartoon type YouTube video I have seen when I was in primary level and at this time I am in school and seeing that once more at this time.

    July 6, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  2. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-eOazoZt1g&w=640&h=390]

    January 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  3. Iqbal Khan

    Santorum: Iranians' 'Principle Virtue' To Die For God
    'Is An Encouragement For Them To Use' Nukes

    By Eli Clifton

    Santorum's Iran policy appears to be framed, in no small part, by his extremist views on Islam and a belief that the Islamic Republic's leadership is inherently irrational and suicidal.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30191.htm

    January 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  4. Iqbal Khan

    The New York Times is Misleading the Public on Iran

    By Robert Naiman

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30187.htm

    January 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  5. joni

    You know the only time religion becomes an issue is when we go through this election process, when Obama doesn't add to his turkey day wish, or if some crazy guy has the desire to build up his nuclear weapons.

    I want to tell our allies these politician­s do not represent all Americans. The majority of us are smart caring people. We lend a hand without asking who they believe in first. Our war ship just helped out an Iranian vessel that was in trouble ... that's who we are! Not zealots

    January 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  6. Lonewolf

    Most Evangelicals want vote for Romney do to his faith. These are the bible carrying hypocrites. They claim to be real Christians, but only when it suits them.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  7. gale routh

    this is science:
    fetus (NOT A BABY, THEY ARE BORN…GOOGLE THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CHART) is a parasite because the classification of the biological relationship that is based on the behavior of one organism (the fetus) and how it relates to the woman's body:

    as a zygote, it invaded the woman's uterus using its Trophoblast cells and hijacked her immune system by using Neurokinin B and using HCG—-so her body won't KILL it, and stole her nutrients to survive and causes her harm or potential DEATH!

    wikipedia org/wiki/Trophoblast
    wikipedia org/wiki/Immune_tolerance_in_pregnancy
    wikipedia org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin

    "it is also possible for a symbiotic relationship to exist between two organisms of the same species."
    answers com/topic/symbiosis —–Gale's Science of Everyday Things:
    Symbiosis

    "an animal or plant that lives in or on another (the host) from which it obtains nourishment. The host does not benefit from the association and is often harmed by it"
    thefreedictionary com/parasite

    pregnancy causes women harm: thelizlibrary org/liz/004

    if a man can kill his tapeworm at anytime, so should a woman abort her unwanted human parasitic fetus at anytime, too.

    so i will kill any unwanted, parasitic life-form that needs my body to live-including your precious fetus; not your body carrying the unwanted fetus, not your problem nor your concern...period, get over it.

    January 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  8. writemikemc

    santorum is a frothy mix of lube and feces, exactly as his name would imply....

    January 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.