GOP Voting Factors: Look Out for Marital Infidelity


More than seven in 10 who say they're very conservative also are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports gay civil unions, as are six in 10 evangelical white Protestants, another core Republican group. Very conservative leaned Republicans (who account for about a quarter of all Republicans and Republican leaners) also are the most critical of Huntsman's post in the Obama administration; four in 10 say this would make them less likely to vote for him.

Being more apt to vote for a Tea Party candidate peaks, as well, among very conservative leaned Republicans, at 57 percent. And these views on the Tea Party show up in candidate support: Among those who are more inclined to vote for a Tea Party-backed candidate, Palin and Romney split top billing, at 18 and 19 percent support, with Ron Paul at 12 percent. Among those who say Tea Party support doesn't matter to their vote, by contrast, Romney leads Palin by 8 points, and Paul receives just 3 percent support.

There are two areas in which older leaned Republicans stand out. The negative impact of a candidate's support for gay civil unions issue increases with age, peaking at 66 percent among seniors. GOP seniors, meanwhile, are least enthusiastic about changes to Medicare -- but even in this group major changes to Medicare are a net positive in vote intentions, by 12 points.

Mormonism faded as a concern during the 2008 campaign. In December 2006, as noted, 36 percent of leaned Republicans described themselves as less apt to support a Mormon; by the end of the campaign this was down to 21 percent. It's remained there.

Resistance to a Mormon candidate is strongest among evangelical white Protestants, at 27 percent. But that compares with 39 percent in this group in December 2006.

Finally, it's noteworthy that objections among leaned Republicans to a woman presidential candidate are down sharply from the last presidential election cycle -- a peak of 28 percent in December 2007, versus 9 percent now. The likely reason: Back then, they were probably thinking about Hillary Clinton, hardly a Republican favorite.

Methodology -- This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone June 2-5, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results reported in this analysis are among 435 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and have a margin of sampling error of 5.5 points. Click here for a detailed description of sampling error. This survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

ABC News polls can be found at at

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