Vast Majority Of Americans Have No Problem Voting For A Mormon

Good news, it would seem, for Mitt Romney:

Americans overwhelmingly say a presidential candidate being Mormon wouldn’t affect their vote, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday.

The survey, which was taken after a controversial pastor said Mormonism was a “cult” and that GOP voters should support a “competent Christian,” also shows a majority of Americans believe Mormons are Christians.

Eighty percent of respondents in the survey said a candidate’s Mormonism wouldn’t make a difference in their selection process, while 17% said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who was Mormon. Three percent said they would be more likely to select a Mormon candidate.

That’s pretty good, actually.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. EddieInCA says:

    Vast Majority Of Americans Have No Problem Voting For A Mormon

    Mitt’s problem isn’t with the “Vast Majority of Americans”. It’s with the “Vast Majority of Republican Primary Voters”.

    Mitt loses Iowa. Wins New Hampshire. Wins Nevada. Loses South Carolina. Where is his firewall? How does he stop Perry from winning the South?

    Evangelicals, which are the GOP base, will not vote for the guy. And the Tea Party sure as heck won’t. So who does that leave in the GOP? Perry. Wait until the $75 Million Perry groups have in the bank starts to work against Mitt. The debates will be long forgotten and all GOP voters remember after all the ads run is that Romney is a flip-flopping, non-christian, Obamacare loving, Massachusetts Liberal, fake-conservative, elite with no real constituency, other than “it’s his turn.”

    Good luck with that.

  2. mantis says:

    These types of polls tend to be rather meaningless due to what is called social desirability bias. People are less likely to admit to pollsters attitudes or actions that they perceive to be socially undesirable. How many people are willing to tell a pollster that they wouldn’t vote for (or want to live next door to,or let their child date, etc.) someone from a particular religious or ethnic group? That’s what this poll really measures. The answer in this case is 17%.

    It’s especially true with telephone or face to face polls. This one was conducted over the phone. People are also less likely to admit to having committed a crime, or stolen from their workplace, or committed adultery, and so on.

  3. Andyman says:

    I tend to agree with Eddie; this is worse for Romney than Doug would like to think.

    If a poll showed that 17% of Americans wouldn’t vote for a black man, that’s not a big problem for Obama, because (I’m going out on a limb here) hardly any of them would likely vote for a Democrat anyway. But many of the 17% that won’t vote for a Mormon are square in the middle of the GOP base. And that could be a big problem for Mitt if the election comes down to turnout in a handful of swing states.

  4. When I first saw this, I misread the headline as “Vast Majority Of Americans Have No Problem Voting For A Moron”, which is probably also true.

  5. Tano says:

    Yes, I agree that Doug is missing the clear import of this story.

    The odds seem quite high that the general election next year will be a pretty close race. If even a few percent of the electorate stay home rather than vote for Mitt, because he is a Mormon, that could easily prove decisive. The fact that this poll shows a net 14% less likely to vote for a Mormon is very big, and very bad news for Mitt.

    Furthermore, one must remember that very few people are willing to admit to bigotry. If 17% admit to being less likely to vote for a Mormon, the scale of the problem for Mitt may well be even bigger than that..

  6. Manny Quin says:

    Well Perry is certainly a Moron as proved at all of the debates, so if he wins than Stormy Dragon will be correct.

  7. PJ says:

    Would it have been good news for Obama in 2008 if only 80% of the voters had no problem voting for a black candidate?
    Would it have been good news for Clinton in 2008 if only 80% of the voters had no problem voting for a female candidate?

    The answers to those give you the answer if this is good news for Romney.

    Gallup has been polling this since at least 1965. Back then 75% would be ok voting for a Mormon candidate. In 2011, 76% say the same. The willingness to vote for a Mormon candidate has yet to pass 80% in the Gallup poll.

    Good news? Really?