In 1999, when Gallup asked Americans whether they would vote for a Mormon, 17 percent said no.
A new Los Angeles Times/Blooomberg poll found that 37 percent would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. The red herring of this report is that 21 percent said they would not vote for an evangelical Protestant candidate. My guess is that the anti-evangelical group is most outside the Republican Party, but the anti-Mormon group is well represented within the Republican Party. If anything, the Republican evangelicals would be Mitt Romney’s most reluctant voters if he were to run for president.
I wrote about Romney’s “Mormon problem” last year. Since then, there have been reports that he is planning a larger defense of his religion. Whatever he has planned, it will have to be better than “I’m never going to get into a discussion about the beliefs of my church.” People are curious. And the spotlight will only increase that curiosity.