Jeremy Lott on America’s Shifting Religious Election Coalition
Date: October 22nd, 2012
What hath Election 2012 wrought? Are we witnessing a re-alignment of religious voters with Catholics shifting away from the Democrats and evangelicals becoming comfortable with a Mormon running for national office? Jeremy Lott, author and editor of RealClearReligion (among other sites), joins us to talk about his new, free e-book entitled Mitt Romney’s Mormon-Christian Coalition. We start off first, though, by examining if there have been any trends in how the media have dealt with the religious angle in the current election. Jeremy’s role with RealClearReligion gives him an advantage in answering this question and he provides some interesting insights on how places like The New York Times have covered religion. We then spend a short bit of time to look at how atheists have tried to get in the mix of electoral politics by putting up images of Jesus on toast and a man in glowing underwear before the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Our discussion then turns to how Democrats have dealt with religion in recent years and how President Obama’s seeming lack of faith (as viewed in opinion polls) and how the debate over contraception and abortion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) has affected religious voters, particularly Catholics. Indeed, the politics behind getting Obamacare passed and how regulations were later imposed despite initial understandings of what that legislation would do may have shattered a fragile coalition that Democrats have maintained with Catholics since Roe v Wade and the Hyde Amendment prohibiting funding for abortion at the federal level. Tony wonders how much lay Catholic voters will respond to criticisms of the Obama Administration levelled by various Catholic Church leaders. We then look at how Mitt Romney may be using this growing rift to his advantage, in part by choosing Paul Ryan, a practicing Catholic, as his running mate. We also look at how Romney has tried to assuage the fears of evangelical leaders who have had a suspicion of Mormon religious views, and how Romney infused the Republican National Convention with how Mormon values are American values without making overt appeals to Mormonism. Jeremy also notes how Mitt’s missionary background has been influential in crafting his political career, including a life-threatening car crash. The claim is made that his ability to speak to different audiences as a missionary has affected how he positions himself on various political issues, sometimes giving him the image of being a flip-flopper. But Jeremy notes that this is also an indication of how Romney learns over time and that there is no “Romney-ism” but rather a pragmatic turn-around artist who is also a skillful politician. During an earlier point in the podcast, Jeremy claims that he will “eat his hat” if the Republicans take Pennsylvania in the presidential election, a claim that Tony intends to revisit in several weeks. Recorded: October 15, 2012.
Real Clear Religion. (You can access Real Clear Politics, Real Clear Books, Real Clear Science and other portals at this website as well.)
Jeremy Lott’s Diary on Patheos.com (pithy and profound insights galore).
Mitt Romney’s Mormon-Christian Coalition by Jeremy Lott courtesy of Human Events (asks for your email to download).
In Defense of Hypocrisy: Picking Sides in the War on Virtue, by Jeremy A. Lott.
The Warm Bucket Brigade: The Story of the American Vice Presidency, by Jeremy A. Lott.
William F. Buckley (Christian Encouter Series), by Jeremy A. Lott.
I’ll Never Forget It: Memoirs of a Political Accident from East Baltimore, by Marvin Mandel, Jeremy Lott, and Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
Jeremy Lott on Episcopalians, Ex-Athiests, Health Care, and German Circumcision.
Jeremy Lott on Real Clear Religion.
Philip Muñoz on Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, and Health Care Mandates.
Gerald de Maio on the Electoral Religion Gap.
Corwin Smidt on Religion, Elections, and the God Gap.
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