I'd tell you I was shocked to see this out of the "oh so tolerants" on the left, but after living here for four years, I'd be lying.
Americans' aversion to voting for Mormons has spiked since Mitt Romney's first presidential bid in 2007 — and that the people most wary of Mormon candidates are not Evangelicals, but rather political liberals and non-religious voters, according to new research from a leading scholar of anti-Mormon attitudes.
I mean all you need to do is spend 5 weeks in this state to see how liberals hate the predominant religious culture in this valley.
According to the paper, concern about Mormonism has remained relatively stable among Evangelicals, with 36 percent expressing aversion to an LDS candidate in 2007 and 33 percent doing so in 2012. But among non-religious voters, that number shot up 20 points in the past five years, from 21 percent in 2007 to 41 percent in February. There were also substantial increases in Mormon-averse voters among liberals — 28 percent in 2007 and 43 percent in 2012 — as well as moderates, who went from 22 percent in 2007 to 32 percent this year.
And the inferred reason is equally shocking.
The overall increase in anti-Mormon attitudes among liberals may be an unanticipated consequence of the "the continuing candidacy of Mitt Romney and Mormon activism against same-sex marriage," the study suggests. And its findings may be alarming to the Romney campaign because among the study's other findings is that voters' perceptions of Mormonism are closely tied to whether they'll vote for him.
OHMIGAWD....you mean to tell me that they have morals and standards AND THEY STICK TO THEM? They must be stopped at all costs!
The published take-away?
Perhaps most potentially distressing to Romney's campaign is the study's finding that conservatives who said they were less likely to vote for a Mormon were much more likely to say they were undecided or would not vote at all in a contest between Obama and Romney. Pundits have been predicting for months that anti-Mormon Republicans would stay home in November; this study reaffirms that idea.
Well then he might as well give up and go home. That is what the study implies...right?
The paper comes with an important caveat: the survey data was collected in late February and early March — in the heat of the Republican primaries. At that point, Romney was the clear frontrunner, but far from the presumed nominee. Since his opponents dropped out, Romney has earned plaudits from Republican operatives and activists for uniting the right behind him with his combative campaign style.
Oh...never mind. (Emphasis mine)
The two questions that remain are whether Romney can overcome Christian conservatives' deep-seated theological differences by taking the fight to Obama; and whether he can have to win over swing voters and moderates, whose perceptions of Mormonism have worsened over the past five years.
I know several Evangelicals who are very, very active in ministry who are of the mindset that they are more opposed to President Obama's policies (especially his attempts to dictate what is doctrine to the Catholic Church) than they are opposed to Mitt Romney's Mormonism. That is something that these studies never take into account.