In fact, much of his rhetoric fit more with Evangelicalism than with his own Mormonism. Painfully aware of the failed attempts to endear himself to Evangelicals, Romney decided to avoid talking about his religion altogether. He avoided the topic on the trail and requests for comment on his faith went unanswered. Gifted with the implosion of a battery of potential opponents, Romney largely managed to skate through the primary process while dodging the topic.
Religion remained a secondary concern throughout most of the general election, as well. Although Romney included some witnesses to his church service at the convention, he kept them out of the valuable primetime slot. In the aftermath of the election, McKay Coppins, the only Mormon reporter to travel with the Romney campaign, published a long-form article on BuzzFeed in which he argued that the campaign had been transformational for how journalists and the country as a whole, viewed the Mormon faith.
Romney was finally free to ignore his faith, like any other Christian candidate, and talk about his real focus, economic issues. Perhaps most promising for those who hoped the Romney campaign would increase acceptance of Mormonism was the mere symbolism of the election.
A Gallup poll asking whether people would support an otherwise qualified Mormon indicates no movement since Robert L. Bentman, a year-old pageant attendee from Salt Lake City, claims a more direct relationship with the Romneys. Mitt Romney's grandfather was the bishop of his ward the rough equivalent of a Catholic parish , Bentman said, adding that he has "fond memories of him from my youth.
Even among pageant-attendees who do not claim an acquaintance to Romney, there appeared to be a general sense of familiarity with the candidate. No," said one pageant attendee, who holds a position with the church in Salt Lake City. This man, who declined to be named because of his position within the church, did express some reservations about Romney's personal wealth and about his record at Bain Capital.
But he said he gives the candidate the benefit of the doubt. He added that he agrees with most of Romney's policies. But LaFrance, like many of the pageant-goers Business Insider spoke to, said he welcomes the increased curiosity about the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and sees it as an opportunity to dispel some of the misconceptions about Mormons.
LaFrance's wife Lori added that she hopes people will start to realize that the church is not as secretive and rigid as it has been portrayed. This could show the rest of the country that we're normal, we just don't swear or drink. Usually this anti-Mormon bigotry is expressed more subtly, camouflaged by voicing doubts on other matters. In political circles there is division over how religion might play in the autumn campaign. Many Republicans believe that anti-Mormon voting is concentrated among Christian evangelicals and that the distaste for Mr.
Obama, among these voters, will trump those feelings. The anti-Obama venom is palpable. In Mississippi and Alabama, about half of Republican primary voters in an automated poll by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling said the president, who is Christian, was a Muslim. Although they belong to one of the fastest-growing religions, Mormons still only account for about 2 percent of the electorate.
Mormon faith may hurt Romney in primaries: poll
Geer suggests, however, that they may turn out in large numbers to support their co-religionist in a general election, making a difference in swing states like Nevada and Colorado. Some Democrats say that is unlikely. Mormons turn out in high numbers anyway, and most are conservative Republicans. Thus, a Mormon presidential candidate gets little added value from his religion.
By contrast, in , when John F.
Kennedy was elected, Catholics constituted a voting bloc 10 times larger than Mormons are today. Kennedy to offset the resistance of some Protestants. In a national poll by Bloomberg News this month, a plurality of voters had an unfavorable view of the Mormon Church; they held positive attitudes about the Catholic Church by an almost 2-to-1 ratio.
The negativity about Mormons was expressed by a plurality of important swing voters, political independents and married women with children.
Bias Against a Mormon Presidential Candidate Same as in
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