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McAdams says he wants a Mormon as president — though he doesn’t want Romney to be that Mormon.
Nationally, nine in 10 Mormons (86 percent) in the GOP-dominated faith give Romney positive marks, according to a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life earlier this year. Even 62 percent of LDS Democrats have a favorable view of their fellow believer.
Romney, whose son Josh lives in Millcreek and who until a few years ago owned a home near Deer Valley, still needs to win 483 delegates to grasp the 1,144 needed to seal the GOP nomination. But the only remaining Republicans in the race, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, have acknowledged that Romney’s nomination is certain.
Romney’s strong Utah ties translate into a long line of friends who are ecstatic to see someone they know take the Republican mantle.
"Mitt’s given so much to Utah with his support of the Olympics," says Utah developer Kem Gardner, who has been close with Romney since 1985. "And I think people are excited to see him become the president. We know Mitt, and he knows us."
Shipps, who is writing about post-World War II Mormonism, is now waiting to see how the presidential showdown ends.
"I can’t finish my book," she said, "until this plays out."
Robert Gehrke contributed to this story.
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