(Week of 7/21/2012) The presumptive Republican nominee’s Mormon religion may be an obstacle for many voters: half the public in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll don’t think Mormons are Christians, the religion most Americans identify with.
More than a third of Romney’s own voters don’t believe he and other Mormons are Christians. And 14% of them say they’d be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who is Mormon. But many of these voters seem to have made peace with that feeling: nearly nine in ten of Romney’s current supporters know Romney is Mormon. 83% of all registered voters know that.
Many voters say they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who was a Mormon—30% of all registered voters say this. Being a Mormon has a bigger negative impact, according to voters’ self-reports, than being Catholic, Jewish, black, Hispanic, or female. Evangelical Christians evoke about as many negative attitudes as Mormons (though nearly twice as many voters claim they would be more likely to vote for an evangelical candidate than for a Mormon.)
However, there are some identifiers than are potentially even more damaging for a presidential candidate than Mormonism: 45% of registered voters are less likely to vote for someone with no religion; 48% are less likely to vote for a gay or lesbian presidential candidate, and 62% are less likely to vote for a Muslim.
That last piece of data can hurt the President, who is still dogged by rumors that he is a Muslim, not Christian. 23% of all registered voters (and 41% of Romney voters) think President Obama is a Muslim. One in four Romney voters think the President has no religion, another negative for voters.
Photo source: Press Association