October 18th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Majority say Mormonism not an issue

Most Americans say Romney's Mormon faith is not an issue.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A vast majority of Americans say Mitt Romney’s faith will not be a factor in their decision on whether to vote for him. The former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nearly 77 percent of those questioned in a new CNN–Opinion Research Corporation poll say the fact that a candidate is a Mormon would not be a factor in the way they vote for president. 19 percent of those surveyed say they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who’s a Mormon, and 3 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a Mormon.

Americans' attitudes towards Mormonism appear to be changing, and while it is unclear whether that shift had anything to do with Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, he may be the beneficiary. A year ago, only a third of all Americans believed that Mormons belonged to a Christian religion, and another third were unsure. Now only one in ten are unsure, and the number of people who believe that Mormons belong to a Christian religion has risen by 16 points to 50 percent. The bad news for Romney: four in ten think Mormons are not part of a Christian religion, and that number has also grown.

1,212 adult Americans were questioned for the survey. It was conducted by telephone on October 12-14, and has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Oh, so it's a-ok to be Mormon in this country, but why in the hell is it not ok to be a Muslim or a Jew? People really need to start being nicer to other religions.

    October 18, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Sure. If you're gullible enough to believe in one irrational superstition, why be bothered by a different irrational belief?

    Secret tablets translated with a magic stone before floating up to heaven? A moral philosopher is executed for standing up to oppression and returns from the dead only in front of a few friends? An illiterate man gets the secret message of god from an angel (once again by himself) and promotes the spread of this good word by the sword?

    What's the difference?

    October 18, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. laurinda,ny

    Well it certainly is for me. Any religion that tells you if you lead a wholesome life when you die you will rule a planet is a little off balance. I wouldn't want a president who actually thought like that. Let's not replace one nut with another.

    October 18, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. James, Phoenix AZ

    Oh – are you, CNN, still using that SAME opinion poll of 1212 people that lead you to write the articles:

    – Thompson fading, Hillary rising
    – Hillary Trouncing Obama
    – Americans want illegals to stay
    – Americans want SCHIP

    You found 1212 Pro-Hillary, Pro-Illegal Alien, Pro-free healthcare than aren't bigoted against Mormons.

    How about some intellectual honesty on your OWN website – LIST THE SURVEY QUESTIONS and RESULTS!

    Or would that be too revealing and hurt your "agenda"??

    October 18, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. wicked monkey minion

    Religion is for people who can't understand science. Science teaches that there are no absolutes, and that's also what the experience of life teaches me. If nature abhors a vacuum, then Intellect must abhor waste. The greatest waste of space in the universe is the universe. A logical god would have made everything easier and cosier; instead of harsh, dark, and cold.

    October 18, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    What would be really interesting is how many of those who polled negatively were Republicans, because it has been the Democrats who have made most of the nasty, anti-Mormon fuss. Since it's the Republicans who will vote for Romney anyway, what are there percentages? It is most likely even better.

    October 18, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Julie Harper, Orem, UT

    Religion is a divisive force in American and world politics. However, to respectfully question how a candidate's religious beliefs might inform his or her decision making is not necessarily out of bounds religious intolerance.

    Should a candidate’s religion influence how someone votes? Maybe. Would I vote for Mitt Romney? No. Is it because he is Mormon? No and yes. Here’s why:

    The Mormon religion has taught for 175 years that the peoples indigenous to the American continents are descended from two groups of Jewish refugees who arrived by boat from the Middle East several hundred years prior to the birth of Christ. The introduction to the Book of Mormon states that these Semitic immigrants “…are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.” Please note that these are claims of historical fact, not faith.

    In the view of modern scholarship, this is a clearly disprovable assertion. Respected scholars who study ancient American civilizations and cultures in the varied disciplines of archeology, anthropology, DNA, linguistics, etc. all firmly declare that the ancient Americans came to this continent from Asia; primarily from the area of what is today Mongolia. There is no evidence supporting the Mormon claim of Jewish ancestry for Native Americans and voluminous evidence debunking it. Charles Mann in his book 1491 gives an excellent overview of current thought regarding ancient American people and cultures. He addresses the ‘lost tribe’ theories and dismisses their proponents and as the “blind leading the blind” (pg 160).

    So, how does voting for a President enter into the discussion of the ancestral origins of Native Americans? I assume the Mitt Romney accepts and supports this fundamental church teaching. To do so, he must disregard, reject, and/or discount all the contrary evidence presented by qualified, legitimate sources of information.

    The ability to reject relevant evidence because it doesn’t support already held conclusions is not a quality I want the leader of my country. Willful ignorance and the adamant refusal to consider that previous conclusions might be wrong is cause for concern. Failing to consider all germane information has resulted in too many dead soldiers and the loss of respect for American policy and power around the world.

    This is not an issue of true or false faith. Faith by its nature is not provable or disprovable. Faith, whatever its particulars, can do many positive things. Faith can provide comfort in difficult times and guidance in moral dilemmas. Faith, however, cannot alter facts.

    When a Presidential hopeful accepts demonstrably false claims as historical fact (whether or not those claims are rooted in religious teaching), we must pause and consider if that person is the individual we want in the most powerful position of American leadership.

    October 18, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    It is foolish to believe a person's religion will determine how well they do as President. Obviously we have had very bad Presidents that were 'mainstream' denominations. I would personally like to see more openness to people running that were completely different religions and not just a slightly different one from normal.

    October 18, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Andrew

    I don't buy it..noone wants to appear bigotted but on election day, in the voting booth the person's true colors will shine...and they'll remember that Mormons wear magic underwear, believe Eden is in Utah, and was started by a scma artist..and thats when Romney will falter.

    There is a reason he has to donate millions to his own campaign, in order to appear as if people don't mind it

    October 18, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. RJ, Baltimore, Md.

    Ah – maybe you folks could tell us just _which_ area-codes were used, along with the call distribution?

    October 18, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. ne,pa

    I don't like him no matter what he is!

    October 18, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. VanReuter NY NY

    What percentage can tell you what LDS believe?
    When they ask Mitt which Native American tribe Jesus visited, lots of people will be surprised.
    If a Scientologist was running, they'd say the same thing, 'till they found out about the aliens...

    October 18, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. JT, Ada OK

    DUH. You vote for the presidential candidate who best represents your values. Who cares what church the person attends.

    October 18, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Mick M, Hayward, CA

    Just wait til he shows up to a debate wearing his magic pajamas. Then people will think differently. He also believes the US had it's own Jesus.

    October 18, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Mark

    Thank goodness!

    October 18, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Saddened, Tampa, FL

    From the book of Mormon – about blacks vs whites . . .

    wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people. . .(2 Nephi 5:21)

    Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species.

    (Joseph Smith, Jr, Founder of the Mormon Church)

    So if the 'majority' says Mormonism is not an issue for them, that speaks volumes about what's in their hearts.

    October 18, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. John Chamberlain Sturgis, SD

    I wait for the day when Americans are fed up with this unhealthy fanaticism with primitive evangelical religious beliefs. When I listen to politicians speaking about God, it leaves me uncomfortable that people really live their lives through fables. These people have their finger on the button. It doesn't matter if the religious fanatic believes in the christian or islamic fables of faith. The psychosis is the same.

    October 18, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |


    October 18, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Connie, Tn.

    So I guess that's not the reason he's trailing Rudy. What we need is separation of church and state.

    October 18, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Brian, New Haven, CT

    It amazes me how many people are still in the dark when it comes to probably any religion. Certainly Mormonism is no exception.

    October 18, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    I would say in Romney's situation it is a big issue. Not because he is a part of the LDS, but because he is not a faithful member of the church.

    He isn't like most Mormons I have met. He twists his values whichever way the wind blows. He needed to appear more democratic when he ran for governor of Massachusetts. Now he is trying to appear conservative for the religous right. It's so false. He is like a used car salesman that would tell you anything to get you to buy into him. The Mormons are nothing like him. And if this is how he treats his faith, I wouldn't like to see how he would act as a president.

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 18, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Richard, San Francisco, CA

    Here in the Bay Area I've gotten to know many Mormons, and they are nothing but good colleagues, good neighbors, and good friends. Judging by my own research, Mr. Romney is no exception. Although I'm a registered Democrat, I'm considering voting for him.

    October 18, 2007 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. KP, Virginia

    It's still so sad to see that 19% of Americans would be less likely to vote for a candidate, solely because that candidate was Mormon.

    It is true that we want someone who will uphold our values. And you know what? Romney will do that! He shares those good values! This is what matters here.

    He's not running for Pastor-in-Chief!

    October 18, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Kim, Peabody MA

    The real issue is whether we want him to Lead this nation as he did in Massachusetts?

    Every Person Reading this should review Romney’s track record at: http://www.Massresistance.org

    We need a real Patriot like Pete Grasso for 2008…


    OR download his FAQ (PDF Format) at:

    October 18, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. Kerry, Burlington MA

    The debate of "Are Mormons Christians?" is not the correct question. The correct question is this: "What makes a person a Christian?" Belief in God, belief in His Son Jesus Christ, belief in the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit, whichever you prefer). Belief in the Bible. Belief that salvation comes in and through Jesus Christ and in no other way. If this is the definition, then yes, Mormons are indeed Christians. If a Christian is defined as someone who believes in the Bible and only the Bible, then no, I guess then Mormons do not qualify.

    October 18, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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