President Barack Obama’s reelection saw him earn support among Catholics, Protestants, Jews and those of other faiths — but not as strongly as in 2008 when he defeated John McCain.Additionally, the president’s support declined among voters who attend religious services more frequently than those who attend more sporadically or not at all, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.In its national survey based on exit polling, the Forum noted that “the basic religious contours of the 2012 electorate resemble recent elections.” Traditionally Republican groups such as white evangelicals and weekly churchgoers strongly backed Romney, while traditionally Democratic groups such as black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, Jews and the religiously unaffiliated backed Obama by large margins.Obama’s margin of victory (50-48) was much smaller than in 2008 when he defeated John McCain (53-46), and he lost ground among white evangelical Protestants and white Catholics, the Forum survey said. The total Catholic vote was 50-48 in favor of Obama, compared to a 54-45 margin for Obama over McCain in 2008. Three-quarters of Hispanic Catholics voted for Obama, while white Catholics “swung strongly” in the Republican direction with 59 percent for Romney, up from 52 percent for McCain in 2008.Among white mainline Protestants in the exit poll, Romney’s edge was 54-44, almost identical to the 2008 (55-45 for McCain).Religiously unaffiliated voters and Jewish voters — both strongly supportive of Democratic candidates in presidential elections — remained firmly in Obama’s corner in 2012, even though support for Obama was less among both groups in the exit polls. Black Protestants also voted overwhelmingly for Obama (95 percent).Conversely, nearly eight-in-ten white evangelical Protestants voted for Romney (79 percent). Romney’s support from evangelical voters was as great as George W. Bush in 2004 and more than McCain’s in 2008. Mormon voters also went heavily for Romney (nearly eight-in-ten). As in other recent elections, those who attend religious services most often exhibited the strongest support for the Republican presidential candidate. Nearly six-in-ten voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week voted for Romney, versus 39 percent for Obama. Romney’s support from weekly churchgoers was comparable to that of other Republican candidates in recent elections.Those who say they never attend religious services “were again among the strongest Democratic supporters in the presidential election,” said the Forum. More than six-in-ten voters who say they never attend religious services voted for Obama. Voters who say they attend religious services a few times a month or a few times a year also supported Obama over Romney, 55-43. The Forum further noted that “religiously unaffiliated” voters comprised 12 percent of the electorate in 2012, the same as 2008. Protestants and “other Christian” voters again were the majority at 53 percent, down 1 percent from 2008, and Catholics were 25 percent of the total, down 2 percent.—Mike Nelson{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1116/elexpew/{/gallery}