January 11, 2012

Romney’s Mormon Faith Likely a Factor in Primaries, Not General Election

53%

More than half (53%) of white evangelical Protestants view Mormonism as a non-Christian faith. This view is linked to opinions about Mitt Romney among this group.

About half of all voters, and 60% of evangelical Republicans, know that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. The former Massachusetts governor’s religion has implications for his nomination run but not for the general election, should he be nominated as his party’s standard bearer.

White evangelical Protestants — a key element of the GOP electoral base — are more inclined than the public as a whole to view Mormonism as a non-Christian faith. More than half (53%) of white evangelical Protestants say that the Mormon religion is not a Christian faith. About half of all Americans consider Mormonism as a Christian faith. This view is linked to opinions about Romney: Republicans who say Mormonism is not a Christian religion are less likely to support Romney for the GOP nomination and offer a less favorable assessment of him generally.

There is no evidence that Romney’s Mormon faith would prevent rank-and-file Republicans, including white evangelicals, from coalescing around him if he wins the GOP nomination. Rather, the same Republicans who may have doubts about Romney’s faith are among the most vehement opponents of Barack Obama. Fully 91% of white evangelical Republican voters say they would back Romney over Obama in a general election matchup, and 79% would support Romney ‘strongly.’ Overall, white evangelicals would be among the strongest Romney supporters if he is the GOP nominee. Read More