CNN Poll: Mormon candidate not a problem for most Americans
October 19th, 2011
04:00 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Mormon candidate not a problem for most Americans

(CNN) - 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.

Two candidates running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination are Mormons: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah governor and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.

The issue of Mormon candidates became an issue on the campaign trail in early October, when Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, decried Mormonism as a "cult" to reporters at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, singling out Romney in particular.

"I think Mitt Romney's a good, moral man, but those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian," Jeffress said.

On Tuesday, Jeffress published an opinion article in the Washington Post that sought to clarify his remarks while maintaining the importance of religion in presidential politics.

"While I prefer a competent Christian over a competent non-Christian, religion is not the only consideration in choosing a candidate," Jeffress wrote. "Frankly, Christians have not always made good presidents. We must also consider whether a candidate is competent to lead and govern according to biblical principles."

Wednesday's poll also asked respondents if they believed Mormonism was a Christian religion. Fifty-one percent said it was, while 36% said it was not. Thirteen percent weren't sure.

At the CNN Western Leadership Conference Debate Tuesday night, the issue arose again when Perry was asked by fellow candidate Mitt Romney about the pastor's comment.

Perry said that he "didn't agree with that individual's statement."

"That individual expressed an opinion," Perry said. "I didn't agree with it, Mitt, and I said so. But the fact is, Americans understand faith. And what they've lost faith in is the current resident of the White House."

Romney said he wasn't bothered by the "cult" remark.

"I've heard worse, so I'm not going to lose sleep over that," Romney said.

The CNN/ORC International Poll was conducted by telephone, polling 1,007 adults, between October 14-16. The sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • Mitt Romney • Religion
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Voted Twice

    Isn't it true that mormons believe that Black people are barred from Heaven? That pretty much sums up Romney's stance on equal opportunity and race relation.

    October 19, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Indy

    And once they are in the voting booth this poll will mean nothing, it is easy to say on the land line but in reality this will be a problem in the voting booth

    October 19, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The only cult voters need to be wary of is the GOBP neocon death cult that worships the 1%ers by caring only for the greedy and not the needy. It's just that simple.

    October 19, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Indy

    Class Warfare
    Your teleprompter joke is so 2008 and worn out years ago.Do tell us when Obama played the mormon card, give us some facts and dates ? It didnt happen so you are going to have to hit your speedial to Rush Limbaugh or Fox news to quote thewir lies, but get er done please and thank you.

    October 19, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    No one asked me. It IS a problem for me. I don't want a president who belongs to a cult. Period.

    October 19, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. carrotroot

    I don't care about Mitt's religion, I will not vote for the guy because I don't share his political views.

    October 19, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Sniffit – Wall Street is calling ! Go hang out there for a while."

    Why? They have things well in hand. I much rather enjoy taking little breaks from work to debunk conservative BS on this site and offer facts that disprove your nonsense. Just the occasional evidenec like your post that I'm driving you compeltely nuts is all the reward I need.

    October 19, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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