Two thirds of Americans OK with Mormon candidate

June 6, 2011

Roughly two out of three Americans say it makes no difference to them
if a presidential candidate is Mormon, according to a new Pew Research
Center poll, although evangelicals are more cautious.

The poll
found that 68 percent of respondents said a candidate's Mormon faith
would not matter, while one in four said they would be less likely to
support a Mormon.

White evangelicals were most likely to care
about a candidate's Mormon faith, with one third of them saying they
would be less likely to support a Mor­mon candidate, compared to 24
percent of the religiously unaffiliated and 19 percent of Catholics and
white mainline Pro­testants.

Half of registered voters who had
heard of candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, said there's at least some
chance they would support him in 2012. Among those who are less likely
to vote for a Mormon candidate, just 31 percent said there was at least
some chance the former Massachusetts governor would be their choice.

The survey, conducted May 25–30, was based on a national sample of 1,509 adults.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is also a Mormon, announced his entrance into the Republican primary on June 21.

While
82 percent of registered voters had heard of Romney, only 32 percent
knew of Huntsman, who recently re­signed as the U.S. ambassador to
China. Slightly more than a third of registered voters who had heard of
Huntsman said he had at least some chance of getting their vote.  —RNS