Saturday, November 25, 2006

No Love For Mormons = Bad News For Romney

An undereported new poll that was released on Monday has some startling results concerning both the course of the GOP primary in '08 and the state of religious tolerance in the US. The poll shows that 43% of Americans will not consider voting for a Mormon presidential candidate (i.e. Mitt Romney).

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, which conducted the survey on its own, said Romney already faces difficulty if he decides to run because he's been governor of liberal Massachusetts and is not very well known.
"I think that any time you have a number as high as 43% saying they won't vote for somebody it's a surprise," Rasmussen said. "It is one more hurdle for someone who already has a big hill to climb."

Why the Mormon rage? While mainstream America has always been leery towards the LDS sect, recent events - like the Warren Jeffs polygamy case (which Romney is getting slammed for in the liberal blogosphere) and other sordid affairs involving LDS - have darkened their public reputation further.

Either way, 43% is a ridiculously high number, possibly forcing Mitt to bow out of the race early. He will soon have to face the painful truth that nearly half of all voters will not even think about voting for him. But Romney feels that he's still in the race, desperately trying to downplay his Mormon faith while blabbering on about the GOP's top saint, Reagan.

The day after the midterm elections, Governor Mitt Romney, reflecting on the GOP's punishing losses, issued a clarion call to conservatives: "We must return to the common-sense Reagan Republican ideals."
Three days later, at a State House Veterans Day ceremony, Romney invoked the former president again, saying, "As Ronald Reagan once said, 'I have seen four wars during my lifetime and none of them began because America was too strong.' "

But can his hard right turn and continued discussion of Reagan help him convince voters - at least GOP voters - to ignore his LDS connection? That poll must come as a surprise to his campaign, especially as it came after Romney's serious bout of campaigning pre and post-election. One would think that voters would have seen past the Mormon thing by now with Mitt becoming a more familiar figure.

The poll does raise another interesting question: What would happen if Romney, the Mormon, and Obama, the black Dem, were the presidential candidates in '08?


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