Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Pew Poll on Mormonism and the 2012 Election

You can read it here, but I have summarized the essential findings below:
  • Half of all American voters know that Mitt Romney is a Mormon
  • Half of all Americans say that they know "little or nothing" about Mormonism.
  • Half of all voters think that Mormonism is a Christian religion.
  • One-third of all voters say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion.
  • Two-thirds of all voters say that Mormonism is "very different": from their own beliefs.
  • White evangelicals are more inclined than the public as a whole to see Mormonism as a "non-Christian faith."
  • Republicans who believe that Mormonism is a "non-Christian faith" are less likely to vote for Mitt Romney in the GOP primaries
  • Should Romney win the GOP nomination, 91% of Republicans who believe that Mormonism is a "non-Christian faith" would back him over Obama in a national election.
  • Overall opinions of Mormonism have changed very little since Romney ran for president in 2008.
Here is what I would like to know:  What percentage of Mormons will vote for Romney over Obama simply because he is Mormon?  Are there Mormons who supported Obama in 2008 who will vote for Romney over Obama in 2012 because they want to see a Mormon president?

The bottom line: Romney's Mormonism will hurt him during the primary season.  And frankly, I don't think that there is anything he can do about it.  He tried to address this issue with his 2008 "Faith in America Speech," but it did not seem to help.  This is a shame,  because I think Romney is the best the GOP has to offer.