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Evangelicals in Iowa

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jan 05, 2008

Columnist Michael Medved thinks it's a mistake to assume that Evangelicals voters were solely responsible for the Huckabee win in the Iowa Republican caucus. A good point, I think.

More emphatically, Medved argues that bias against Mormons was not a major factor in Romney's defeat in Iowa. Good point again.

Then, after massaging statistics a bit, the columnist concludes:

Think about this.... THERE'S MORE EVIDENCE IN THE EXIT POLLS OF ANTI-EVANGELICAL PREJUDICE than there is of anti-Mormon prejudice. [emphasis in original]

If that's what you're reading in the polls, then you're reading the polls wrong. Still, while he exaggerates his own case, Medved is making an interesting argument-- and one that will become more important as the secular media focus more attention on Huckabee's Evangelical supporters. If he had only appealed to Evangelicals, Huckabee would have lost in Iowa. Or to put it differently-- the important point-- it's possible for a candidate with strong religious beliefs to win support from voters who don't share those beliefs.

Disclaimer: These thoughts are not intended to indicate support for Huckabee. I'm making a point about media coverage of the race: the persistent blind spot regarding religion.]

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 07, 2008 3:53 PM ET USA

    Famous last words? Remember Reagan...

  • Posted by: - Jan. 06, 2008 5:37 PM ET USA

    Does anyone seriously think that the GOP Establishment is going to nominate for president a Baptist minister who graduated from a tiny, no-name college and was the governor of Arkansas? This has to do with class far more than religion. This American historian predicts that the Iowa victory will be quickly forgotten. And so will Huckabee.