Monday, July 10, 2006

Romney for president?

In a recent Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll, more than a third of registered voters polled said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. Mitt Romney, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, happens to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is a leading contender for the GOP ticket; so "the Mormon question" has been a hot topic in some political circles. But although, among the speculators, it is widely believed that evangelical Christians would no-way, no-how vote for a Mormon, the poll numbers hint that Romney's real obstacle might be a much more traditional political one.

Looking at the numbers, John C. Green, a religion-and-politics expert at the University of Akron, points out, "There appears to have been an increase in the skepticism about voting for a Mormon for president since the late 1990s." Green speculates: "This increase may reflect the opposition to Mormons among evangelicals and other conservative Christians. But it also may reflect opposition from liberal Democrats and seculars who recognize Mormons as a socially conservative group."

In the 2006 poll, self-described "liberal Democrats" were those most likely to oppose a Mormon candidate.

Romney for president . . . just so long as he doesn't make any promises to keep his mind divided, unlike JFK, I suppose that could work.

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