Nearly 70% Say Presidential Candidate's Mormon Faith Is Irrelevant

Jun 3, 2011

Good news for politicians who happen to be Mormon like Mitt Romney, the newly announced candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, or Jon Huntsman, who may become one.

Sixty eight percent of Americans say a presidential candidate's Mormon faith is irrelevant to them, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

The bad news: white evangelical Christians, about 34 percent of them, say they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate. And such voters could play an important role in who gets the GOP nomination.

But before liberals start bashing as intolerant white evangelicals, many of whom are probably conservatives, consider this: 41 percent of liberal Democrats said they would be less likely to support a Mormon presidential candidate.

It's possible the Democrats were thinking about the only Mormon presidential candidate they know, who happens to be a Republican.

Anyway, it's always wise to be careful with polls in which respondents tell pollsters they wouldn't be put off by a candidate's race, religion or sex.

Pollsters often caution that a significant number of people won't betray their biases and some biases are deeply hidden, especially to those who hold them.

Still, since we have these numbers, it's worth mulling them over.

One more thing; Pew reports the percentages really haven't changed since 2007.

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