New Poll Shows Most Americans Don’t Mind Romney’s Mormonism

A new survey from Pew shows that for the most part, Americans are unenthusiastic about their current slate of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination – or even know who they are.  Only Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul approached Mitt Romney in terms of name recognition, but 60% of those surveyed said that they would never vote for them.  Interestingly, though, there was good news for Romney in the poll: 68% of survey respondents said that it would not matter to them if their candidate was a Mormon.

Romney’s religion (there has never before been a Mormon president) has not as yet factored greatly into early primary debates, and if this data holds true, it may not prove to be much of an obstacle.  To give you some sense of context, 61% of Americans said that they would be less likely to support an atheist, compared to 25% who said that they would be less likely to support a Mormon.  Those are some striking statistics, and should certainly be encouraging to Romney.

According to Joanna Brooks, writing for Religion Dispatches, “Liberal democrats polled least likely to support a Mormon (41%).  White evangelical Christians placed second, with about 34% saying they would not vote for a Mormon candidate.”

It’s interesting that these two groups are together in their comparatively low support for Mormon candidates.  Brooks hypothesizes that for liberals, the ties between Mormonism and conservatism, “cemented,” she writes, “by the likes of Glenn Beck as well as by the LDS Church’s own heavy, decades-long investment in anti-LGBT equality politics,” may turn off potential supporters.  And she blames “more than a century of anti-Mormon dogmatism by evangelical Christian preachers” as the reason for white evangelicals’ lack of support.

The question is how Romney’s religion will fit into his campaign.  Will it be as much of an issue as John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism?  Or has Mormonism become mainstream enough that it will not become a serious issue in the Republican primary fray?

Photo from Gage Skidmore's Flickr.

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69 comments

Yvette S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Oh, I'm sorry I thought it read moronism

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

I'm rather embarrassed that Mormonism is a factor in why I would not vote for Romney -- that's not quite fair, because I would never vote for a repub, especially after the dishonorable way they've acted and treated ordinary Americans since Obama's election. Too much is made of a candidate's religion in this country, but certain "religions" are more abhorrent than others -- anyone who puts religion first in how they would vote, I have to reject, -- like evangelicals or mormons -- because they appear more like cults to me, "made-up" religions. Though the revelations about Catholic priests make me shiver, John F. Kennedy did not seem, as a Catholic, to let his church determine how he would govern. Romney is too slick and phony for me.

kenneth m.
kenneth m.4 years ago

Anything but a Moslem

Bonnie S.
Bonnie Sweitzer4 years ago

We need a smart business person now. I'm looking at Romney. Mormon's are successful financially and careful about resources. And that religion can't be any worse than our current President who was influenced by Jerimiah Wright for 20 years.
We must have financial recovery to continue to enjoy opportunity to continue our good social programs.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers4 years ago

He has always been a supported of big business and in his life as management consultant, leverage buyout buyer, etc. had no compassion for employee layoffs or companies going bankrupt. He is not for regular citizens.

As a high member of his church, until he resigned to run for President, I would not trust him to keep separate church and state.

For those that hold high positions in any church, they should exclude themselves from holding political office. They can practice any religion but when they are in positions of authority in their church they cannot be neutral on all political
questions that would come before them.

Even when candidates do not hold positions of authority in their church we have seen what happens when zealots are elected to represent all the people; they are unable to put their biases aside.

We must have representatives that keep church and state separate. We are a diverse nation and should respect or at least tolerate each others differences.

Jim B.
Jay B.4 years ago

The real issue is his misguided Republican politics coupled with the fact I don;t ever vote for Republicans.

Laura R.
Laura R.4 years ago

Romney was against bailing out the auto companies. His position was that the government should let them go bankrupt. How much damage would have been done to the economy if that had happened? Now he is basing his campaign on how bad the economy is. If he had been successful in swaying other decision makers to let the auto companies go bankrupt things would be even worse now.

Patrick F.
Patrick f.4 years ago

And now for some worse news...Romney is ahead of Obama in the polls....ignorance is bliss....

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley4 years ago

I wouldn't vote for Romney or any Republican, irrespective of their religion.

Jean Sleigh
Jean Sleigh4 years ago

HAHA... American politics... love it (well, not really, but it's entertaining... hmmm, not like South African politics, which just pisses me off! I digress..) Some great comments... and some lovely spelling "homofobic" (heehee)... republican, democratic, homophobic or whatever... trust me, IF he gets into the power seat and he starts hauling out mormon-friendly laws and regulations, suddenly THEN it'll be a problem... Just rather stay away from politics as best you can... the world will be a better place.