Are Republicans Ready Now for a Mormon President?

Jul 05, 2011

Overall, being a Mormon is hardly an asset for presidential candidates, but it is not a deal-breaker for most Americans. A quarter of Americans say they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who is Mormon, while 68 percent say it would not make a difference. For perspective, about the same number say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who has used marijuana in the past.

But an important group within the Republican base, white evangelical Protestants, is more uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon candidate than are other Republicans. Among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 31 percent of white evangelicals say they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon; that compares with 15 percent of other Republicans, according to a May survey. This gap is as large as it was four years ago.

At that time, our polling found that white evangelical Protestants were more likely than non-evangelical white Protestants to view the Mormon religion as very different from their own. And just 40 percent of all white evangelicals viewed Mormons as Christians; far more non-evangelical white Protestants and Catholics said that Mormons were Christians.

Read the full report, Are Republicans Ready Now for a Mormon President?, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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