Jewish Support for GOP Jumps in 2012, Mormon Vote Slips

Most Mormons voted for Romney, but an even higher percentage voted for George W. Bush.

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A greater percentage of Mormons voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, according to a new poll from the Pew Forum On Religious and Public Life.

Some 80 percent of Mormons voted for Bush, while 78 percent voted for Romney, who is Mormon. (Pew says exit polling data for Mormons was not available in 2000 and 2008.)

That's not to say Mormons weren't in Romney's corner this election. Pew points out that 78 percent means nearly 8 in 10 Mormons voted for Romney, while only 2 in 10 voted for Obama.

[FOUND: Romney's Victory Website]

It appears that Bush simply received more of the religious vote overall, garnering more of the Catholic and Protestant vote than Romney as well.

Did Mormons lose their GOP choirmaster in 2012? Did Jews have a 'come to Jesus' moment?
Did Mormons lose their GOP choirmaster in 2012? Did Jews have a 'come to Jesus' moment?

Romney, however, received more of the Jewish vote than Bush or any recent GOP candidate, with 30 percent of Jewish voters casting ballots for Romney. Sixty-nine percent voted for Obama, a nine percentage point drop from 2008.

If elected, Romney would have been the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as president. His faith was an on-again, off-again issue throughout the campaign, with Republicans initially worried it could hurt the GOP nominee's electability. But as the campaign progressed, the relatively new faith seemed to become more mainstream, and Romney's Mormon faith is not believed to have hurt his presidential changes.

Voters expressed a high level of interest in Romney's Mormonism throughout his campaign, however. In September, Google data showed interest in the GOP contender's faith was higher than it had ever been before.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at