A lot of things have changed since 1967, but the percentage of Americans willing to vote for a well-qualified Mormon presidential candidate is not one of them. A recent Gallup poll found that 18% of Americans will not vote to put a Mormon in the White House, compared with 17% of Americans who expressed the same sentiment in 1967.
Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote, “The stability of resistance to a Mormon presidential candidate is an anomaly. Resistance to a candidate who is black, a woman, or Jewish has declined substantially in the same period of time” (CNN Belief Blog).
The survey also found that 40% of Americans do not know that Mitt Romney is Mormon, a fact that should become more apparent as the election draws closer. A closer focus on Romney’s religion may hurt his chances at the polls, as the general population becomes more familiar with the fundamental beliefs of Mormonism.
In his report, Newport also noted that it is “unclear how the current level of resistance to the idea of voting for a Mormon presidential candidate will affect the election.”
It’s interesting that so many Americans feel comfortable expressing such prejudicial views against Mormons, when very few would make similar remarks about other ethnicities or religions. What makes Mormonism so threatening? What are some myths about Mormonism that should be debunked? Share any ideas or information in the comments below.
Photo: Gage Skidmore