February 7, 2012

[02.07.2012]

Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers? According to the EPA, the beach is a dangerous place, and it’s not because you forgot to pack your sunscreen. A new report says that digging and playing in sand is actually more likely to make beachgoers sick than swimming or sunbathing…and it’s because of sewage. I’ll let you decide if you want to read on.

A new poll shows that by better than 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him. As last week’s PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey also showed, Obama edges out Romney in a head-to-head match-up.

The debate continues to rage over whether the Obama administration erred in its refusal to grant a broader religious exemption for religiously affiliated hospitals and colleges on no-cost birth control for the institutions’ employees. A new PRRI survey shows that Catholics are relatively divided (52% support the requirement and 45% oppose it), despite the American Catholic bishops’ concerted opposition.

Is Mitt Romney the “stealth Tea Party candidate”? According to Theda Skocpol, Romney’s stance on immigration could endear him to Tea Party members, even if he does have Swiss bank accounts and the support of most of the GOP establishment. The question – considering that nearly half (47%) of Americans who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement say they are also part of the Christian conservative or religious right movement – is how they feel about Romney’s Mormon faith. (Thanks to Vivian for sending this in!)

Is marriage just for America’s wealthier citizens? I’d be a little more convinced by this post for the NYT’s Economix blog if it tackled the rise of new families and cohabitation (see Pew for more).

Many white working-class voters believe that Romney is not paying his fair share in taxes. For more on why the white working class voters will matter in the 2012 election, check out this article by our CEO, Dr. Robert P. Jones.

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