Believe it or not (and I didn’t think it possible), Mormonism was one reason Romney lost South Carolina. Exit polls show that most South Carolina voters wanted a candidate that shared similar religious views. Romney lost big among those voters. Note, I am not describing what ought to be, but rather what the data show is happening.
This does not bode well for Romney’s electability in the fall. Evangelicals are the base of the GOP. If they stay home, Republicans lose, like they did when they nominated the moderate John McCain. But more importantly, Catholics may decide this election in places like Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. And the Catholic Church makes no secret of its view of Mormonism. An unexcited evangelical base combined with skeptical moderate Catholic voters undermines Romney’s chief campaign message of the last month — “most likely to beat Obama.” It could be a prescription for a November defeat.
Romney will spin that Florida is his firewall because he has an organization there. But he also had one in South Carolina. Tonight was a game changer.
One other thing. Romney annoyed people in South Carolina. His robo calls, from the vaunted “organization,” annoyed voters to no end. I watched someone get 5 calls in one night, many from Chris Christie. Another person is getting them in Germany in the middle of the night on her cell phone. Sometimes organization and money backfires.
Also read Roger L. Simon: “Nobody’s Home at the Sanctum Santorum“