The question of religion has been part of many political campaigns. President Barack Obama was dogged by rumors he was a Muslim throughout 2008, and those rumors still persist: 19% in this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 1/14/2012) think he is a Muslim. Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion has also come under fire, but is his case it may be because so many GOP voters can identify his faith.
83% of Republican voters know Romney is a Mormon. But their opinion of the religion isn’t overwhelmingly positive. 42% of GOP voters say their opinion of Mormons is favorable. And while only 19% have an unfavorable opinion of Mormons, the rest say they are neutral.
But Republican voters are more positive about Mormons than the public as a whole is. Among all adults, Mormons are as likely to be viewed unfavorably as favorably.
And while GOP voters know that Romney is Mormon, they aren’t exactly sure what religion former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is. Santorum is Catholic, but just 24% of the public overall, and 34% of Republican voters know that. More describe him as “Christian,” but more than a quarter of GOP voters (and nearly half the public overall) have no idea.
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