THE MORMON FACTOR
Twenty-two percent of Americans say they would not vote for a presidential candidate who was Mormon, while 76 percent say it makes no difference, according to a Gallup poll, a finding of interest to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr., who are of that faith. But this is an entrenched phenomenon: The numbers have not changed since 1967.
“Currently, 18 percent of Republicans say they would not vote for their party’s nominee if that person happened to be Mormon. This may be less troubling for Romney in the GOP primaries, where the vote could be highly fractured anyway, than in the general election, where — should he win the Republican nomination — he would need nearly complete support from Republicans to be competitive with President Obama,” observes Gallup analyst Lydia Saad.
“However, John F. Kennedy’s success in overcoming a similar challenge in 1960 relating to his Catholic faith may give hope to Romney and his supporters about his electability in 2012.”