Three political science professors have investigated how different religious groups have voted as US congressmen and women. The results are based on a simple paradigm: the more liberal you are the closer you are to -1, where as closer to 1 means you’re more conservative. The Pacific Standard reports on the results:
Since 1976, Mormons average 0.21, firmly to the right of the moderate center point of zero. If you add the records of all other senators over this timespan together and average them, the number is -0.03, or just a tick to the left of center. If we restrict our analysis just to the Republican Party, we find that Mormons are a few notches to the right of their peers, registering an ideology score of 0.36, versus 0.31 for all other Republicans. Compare this with Republican evangelical Christian senators’ score of 0.42 and there is ample evidence of common ground between the two religious groupings. If religion were to influence a future Romney administration in the same manner as it has Mormon members of the Senate, then we should expect Romney to pursue a consistently conservative policy agenda, more or less in line with evangelicals.
And, on the most hotly debated issues of “abortion, contraception, gay and lesbian rights, women’s equality, and stem-cell research”:
We looked up every vote since 1976 on the “culture war” issues [...] and examined how Mormons compare with those of other faiths. We found that Mormons are much further to the right. On a scale of zero to 100, where 100 means a senator voted conservative 100 percent of the time on cultural issues, Mormons average a score of 86 percent, while all other senators average 48 percent. Evangelical Christian senators (of both parties) vote conservatively only 79 percent of the time on cultural issues.
Of course, Mitt Romney’s Mormonism is one the struggles he’s currently facing in trying to get the Christian Right to vote for him. In fact, almost 1-in-5 Americans say they won’t vote for a Mormon.
Romney’s record on these “culture war” issues have been varied: In his time as governor, he was quite liberal. Today he’s flip-flopping, trying to understate the importance of those actions, and trying to play up his new-found conservatism.
(Via The Dish)