The other day billionaire Donald Trump went out of his way to mention to a crowd in the South that he was a Protestant. A Presbyterian, to be precise.
The Republican party has never nominated a Catholic for President. NEVER. Not for President.
This is not a minor point: Jeb Bush is a convert to Roman Catholicism and Marco Rubio is a Roman Catholic from birth. Chris Christie is listed in Wikipedia as being Roman Catholic. George Pataki and Rick Santorum are also listed as Catholic. Hence, they cannot win the Republican Presidential nomination.
The Republican party has never nominated a Catholic for President. True, Paul Ryan, a Catholic, was its VICE-presidential nominee in 2012 but the vice-presidential nomination is hand-selected by the Republican presidential nominee and rubber-stamped by the Republican convention. Ryan would never have been on the ticket if he had to go through the primary process. Simply put, a Catholic cannot win the Republican Presidential nomination. It has NEVER happened. Moreover, no Catholic has ever even come close to winning the REPUBLICAN Presidential nomination. Even the Mormon Mitt Romney was more acceptable than a Catholic.
These are just facts. Trump knows this. Hence, Trump is one of the few WASPs (White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants) running.
Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Scott Walker are some of the other WASPs but they are fading fast.
Dr. Ben Carson is a Protestant (Seventh Day Adventist) but Dr. Carson is no WASP.
Likewise, Ted Cruz is Protestant but -- like Dr. Carson-- he is no WASP. Also, the obviously Hispanic surname "Cruz" sounds too Latino and, hence, confusingly "Catholic-sounding." Again, like Dr. Carson, Ted Cruz is no WASP.
Carly Fiorina was raised Episcopalian and is now a non-denominational Christian, so it is fair to say she is a Protestant. She certainly is NOT a Catholic. She does, however, have a very "Latin" sounding name, the italian surname "Fiorina". Ironically, "Fiorina" is her married name; her maiden name, and the name she was born under, is Sneed. So she has the same problem that Ted Cruz has: they both have surnames that are very "Latin" sounding and, hence, confusingly "Catholic-sounding." Also, as a woman, Fiorina is not a White MALE Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Again, Fiornia's married surname "Fiorina" does not sound Anglo-Saxon and this, along with her gender, will hurt her in getting the nomination. Fiorina will do all right but eventually she will hit the proverbial "glass ceiling."