Does Romney Have a “Mormon Problem”?

Robert P. Jones doesn’t necessarily think so, at least not versus Obama:

Beyond the religious identity challenge, both Obama and Romney also face a religious identification challenge with the public. Specifically, more Americans than not say that each of these leader’s religious beliefs are different from their own. Romney of course faces a hurdle here that Obama does not: 72 percent of Americans report that Mormons have religious beliefs that are somewhat or very different from their own. But any advantage that might accrue to Obama because of his more familiar Christian faith is not evident in the numbers. The number of Americans saying Obama has religious beliefs that are different from their own stands at 48 percent, a number that is slightly higher than the same measure for Mitt Romney (43 percent).

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  • I’m an evangelical who went to BYU…and I’m not convinced most conservative evangelicals would vote for Romney over Obama. That hatred runs deep.

  • Do we ever know what any individual really believes?

    Living in a very LDS area I would say that their beliefs are typical of most any republican. I’d say what the biggest challenge is … is ..influence. Remember how worried the general public was about a catholic and taking orders from the pope.. same deal.. people are probably worried that Romney will be influenced by the elders of his church.

  • Romney has experience with being an executive of a state, security of the Olympics, and business strategy. He would/will be tough to beat.

    However Perry, if he runs, will give Mitt a run for his money.

    More than Romney’s religion, his Romneycare has more potential to do political harm.

  • As a former Mormon, I can tell you from first-, second-, and third-hand experience that most Mormons don’t really heed the council of the church’s authorities on much but superficial things (i.e. alcohol/tobacco, tattoos, piercings, etc.). The whole Prop 8 thing (the proverbial camel’s back-breaking straw for me) caused massive schisms in the community, and I was surprised at how many prominent, step-in-line Mormons publicly denounced the church’s political decision. Maybe that’s a single, specific circumstance, but maybe it’s a microcosm of how things could end up. Tough to say.

    And Lock, I’d beg to differ about Rick Perry, and not just because I think he’s a a few bottles short of a six-pack; his insultingly obvious pandering to the evangelical base would bite him in the butt were he to get the nomination. Then again, Romney’s pandering is almost as bad, so maybe you have a point.

  • Curtis

    They should take the safe, Michelle Bachmann approach, and just refuse to tell anyone what church she is a member of.

  • Tony, if Romney is the GOP nominee for President, do you feel it will be crucial for him to answer this question:

    Are you a literalist in your reading of the Book of Mormon?

    • Really good question, Bob. Maybe it’s THE question.

      (But he would never answer it straightforwardly.)

  • how can that question be engaged without the patina of bigotry ? or is the very question bigoted ?