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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 09:45 PM ET, 03/20/2012

Romney’s evangelical ceiling: Illinois true to form

Familiar patterns emerged Tuesday in Illinois, with one of the more striking examples of how closely Mitt Romney’s fate has been tied to the proportion of evangelicals in Republican primaries to date.

In the Illinois exit poll, barely more than four in 10 GOP voters considered themselves born-again Christians, a shade below average so far in the contests with exit polls. Romney has yet to win when evangelicals make up more than half of all voters, but he’s also yet to lose when they’re less than 50 percent of a state’s electorate.

The next states up on the docket? Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary voters were 57 percent evangelical in 2008, while Maryland’s were 34 percent and Wisconsin’s were 38 percent.

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By  |  09:45 PM ET, 03/20/2012

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