Mitt Romney is a Mormon and Paul Ryan is a Catholic. The Republican ticket is the first in the history of either party not to include a Protestant. The Los Angeles Times reports that evangelicals are still backing it:
"It's our belief that the great irony of this election will be [that] you'll have the first ticket without a Protestant on it, and that ticket will get the highest support by evangelical voters of any ticket in history," said Gary Marx, executive director of the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition. "That's going to be the great irony — supporting a Mormon-Catholic ticket at record levels, and I think that's already showing up in the polling data."
The Faith and Freedom Coalition has set an ambitious goal of reaching out to 17.1 million evangelical households in 12 battleground states to push them to vote. Marx said the group was trying to contact each household seven to 12 times using a variety of techniques, including phone calls, direct mail, email, text messaging, voter guides in churches, radio ads on conservative-skewing stations and personal visits by volunteers.
Focus on the Family's political wing, CitizenLink, in cooperation with six other organizations, has set a goal of registering as many as 5 million previously unregistered evangelical voters, and is sending out millions of voter guides that compare Romney's and Obama's positions on issues of importance to conservative Christians.
"We want to make the records known," Daly said, "and let you decide which person lines up with your values."
Not all evangelicals are conservative, and the Obama campaign also has an outreach effort to rally religious voters. But polls suggest that the president will not do as well among white evangelicals as he did in 2008.
The slow economic recovery may be the primary reason. But Obama has also lost support among some evangelicals for his support of same-sex marriage, and for policies perceived to be threatening to religious freedom, including a rule in his healthcare plan that would require some religious institutions to provide contraceptive services to their employees.