Poll Suggests Romney, A Mormon, Has Uphill Climb To Secure GOP Nomination
A new Rasmussen Reports poll suggests that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a main 2008 GOP presidential contender, has an uphill climb to secure his party's nomination.
The reason? Romney is a Mormon, and the idea of a Mormon president doesn't sit well with a good chunk of would-be voters:
-- 43 percent of voters say they would never even consider voting for a Mormon Presidential candidate. 38 percent say they would consider casting such a vote while 19% are not sure.
-- 53 percent of Evangelical Christians say that they would not consider voting for a Mormon candidate. That's a key, because the Christian Right is a key player in Republican primary season.
As pollster Scott Rasmussen notes: "It is possible, of course, that these perceptions might change as Romney becomes better known and his faith is considered in the context of his campaign. Currently, just 19% of Likely Voters are able to identify Romney as the Mormon candidate from a list of six potential Presidential candidates."
As JABBS noted last year, the Southern Baptist Convention website has characterized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a "cult." The influential Christian right group Focus on the Family declares that "God cannot be identified . . . with the Mormon religion's notion of god."
Romney, in an interview last year with the conservative magazine Weekly Standard, understood that his religion could pose a problem:
ROMNEY: "I think if you said, 'Look, we have a candidate for you, and you can know nothing about this person, except [his] religion, that's the only thing that you can know, this person is a Mormon, but that's all you can know. Do you want [him] as president?' ... I think a lot of people would say, 'Gosh, I am not sure that that makes me feel real comfortable.'"
That lack of comfort may be playing itself out.