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Newt’s demise

We know that the savage attacks of the Mittites and all those faux Tea Partiers in the so-called Republican establishment are turning the Gingrich campaign in Florida into road kill. But which segments of the GOP electorate have been most affected?
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The Contraceptive Mandate

I guess I can understand why the Obama Administration decided to stay the collision course with the Catholic Church and not make it easier for employers to obtain an exemption on religious grounds from the contraception coverage mandated by the health care reform act. Not only would walking back the mandate have given the liberal base of the Democratic Party more heartburn in an election year, but also: Why let any old employer that calls itself Catholic decline to cover medical products that 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women themselves use
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Is the Mormon Gap Anti-Mormon?

This primary season evangelicals have shown that they're less likely than four years ago to vote for a Mormon candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Why? It could be that this increasingly robust Mormon Gap has to do with Mormonism itself; e.g. that evangelicals are just as loathe to put a Mormon in the White House and have become more aware that one or another candidate is Mormon. Or it could have to do with something else.  
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Craziness on the Jewish right

I guess we should all be grateful that Andrew Adler has resigned his position as publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times and put the venerable weekly (originally the Southern Israelite) up for sale. 
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Floridian Evangelicals

If you're a spiritually sensitive exit poll geek like me, one of the little revelations of the 2008 GOP primary season was that Mitt Romney won as many evangelical votes in Florida as Mike Huckabee did: 31 percent (with John McCain trailing close behind at 28 percent). Moreover, Romney's evangelical total was almost equal to his non-evangelical total (32 percent). In other words, there was no Mormon Gap in Florida. The Mormon Gap, invented a couple of days ago at this blog's former site, is defined as the percentage-point difference between the evangelical and the non-evangelical vote for a given Mormon candidate. In South Carolina, the gap was 16 points (22-38), and it accounted for Romney's drubbing. Had evangelicals in the Palmetto State voted like non-evangelicals, Mitt would have prevailed, 38 percent to 35 percent. But Florida's different, right? In Florida, evangelicals vote like non-evangelicals in Republican primaries. They live in the most diverse of Southern states, belong to less pedal-to-the-metal megachurches, take theological differences less to heart. In a word, they don't consider religious others so, well, other. And those others include Mormons. Or maybe not...
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The Evangelicals do Newt

Political wise guys and the scribblers who chat them up seem bewildered by the fact that Newt Gingrich scored so big with evangelicals in South Carolina. Here, for example, is Slate's John Dickerson:     Evangelical voters did not see Gingrich's personal shortcomings as an impediment...South Carolina Republican strategists have scratched their heads a little at this. "These are people who judged Bill Clinton," said one Republican strategist about social values voters. But the consensus view among those in GOP politics here is that Republican voters had already discounted Gingrich's personal failings. That's the best Palmetto politicos can come up with? If the evangelical lifestyle is about anything, it's about celebrating the repentant sinner, and the bigger the sins, the bigger the party. GOP voters from Charleston to Greenville didn't discount Gingrich's personal failings, they forgave them.
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