Mitt Romney won six out of the 11 Super Tuesday primaries, victories that followed a regional pattern from past primaries. Romney has performed best in New England and the mountain west but he has done poorly in the Midwest and even worse in the southern states. In a closely watched state, Romney edged out Rick Santorum by one percentage point in Ohio. Santorum won in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and Newt Gingrich picked up a win in Georgia.
Beneath the Republicans’ regional split is Romney’s failure in states where the Republican base is made up of socially conservative evangelical voters. In New England and other states where evangelicals are in the minority, Romney has been able to win over the lion share of the evangelical vote. The result is a double-whammy for Romney: in states where the GOP is made up of more evangelicals, evangelicals are less likely to vote for Romney.
In Vermont, Romney received four out of every 10 evangelical votes and performed similarly among evangelicals in Nevada. In both cases, evangelicals make up less than a third of Republican voters. In New Hampshire, where there were many more candidates, Romney received about a third of evangelical voters, equal to Santorum’s share. However, in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, where evangelicals make up a majority of GOP voters, Romney received less than 30 percent of votes from evangelicals.
Source: Christianity Today | Tobin Grant