That lends credence to a theory I am working on about the election just passed. That is that in 2008 the issue was rendered “too awkward to discuss,” but that it remained an issue in the minds of many during this cycle. I would draw an analogy to racism in the deep South. Once segregation was outlawed and racist utterances were rendered politically incorrect, it was not discussed publicly in the South. But it lived, and still does to some much lesser extent, in dinner parties and bridge clubs. We do not have data, and likely cannot get since it is “too awkward to discuss,” whether this was an unspoken issue this election.
Last night on the Hugh Hewitt show, Hugh interviewed Brad Miller of “CitzenLink” which is a fund-raising/action arm of James Dobson’s old “Focus on the Family.” If you are a subscriber you can listen here. The interview is not transcribed and I do not have time right now. In the interview Miller cites state after state where social issue initiatives outperformed Mitt Romney in the vote, even when losing. Now some of that is the African-American vote which is socially conservative, but belongs to Obama, but statistically it cannot account for all of the difference. After the African-American vote is subtracted you have a pretty large group of people that voted conservative in some aspects but not for Romney.
It is pretty easy to imagine that group being people, maybe even Evangelicals, saying “no” to Romney’s Mormonism. Also makes you wonder how many people just stayed home. Stay tuned, we’ll try and find some time to transcribe the pertinent portion to the interview.