The recent-vintage wisdom of presidential politics is that voters want their candidates to have strong personal faith. But for the moment, the front-running candidacies of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani seem to suggest that beyond a certain minimum level, the religiosity of a candidate doesn’t matter that much to the voting public.
Or at least so say analysts at the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. And in the case of Republican Mitt Romney, whom voters see as the most religious candidate in either field, his Mormon faith appears to be a unique stumbling block for a quarter of those polled.
Since the 2004 election, Democrats in particular have sought to find a way to talk about personal religious faith in the context of politics, trying to counter Republicans’ charges that they are the party of secularists.