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Poll: 8 in 10 voters OK with Romney's Mormon faith
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Most Americans are aware that Mitt Romney is Mormon, and they're OK with that.

A new poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that eight in 10 voters who are aware that Romney is Mormon say they are either comfortable with his faith or say it doesn't matter.

On the other side, nearly a quarter of Democratic-leaning voters are wary of Romney's faith but those Americans aren't likely to support Romney anyway.

"Romney's religion has little impact on voting preferences," according to the Pew report released Thursday. "Republicans and white evangelicals overwhelmingly back Romney irrespective of their views of his faith, and Democrats and seculars overwhelmingly oppose him regardless of their impression."

Romney, the first Mormon on a major party's ticket as a presidential candidate, still faces a tough road with white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants, the survey shows, though Republicans are still mostly lock-step behind their presumptive nominee.

"Overwhelming majorities of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who know Romney is Mormon support him, whether they are comfortable with his religion or not," the survey reports. "Conversely, about nine in 10 Democrats and Democratic-leaners intend to vote for Barack Obama, regardless of their view of Romney's faith."

The survey still shows a troubling trend for the president with a continuing swath of Americans identifying his faith as Muslim despite his Christian beliefs.

In fact, the survey shows, more voters say the president is Muslim than did so in October 2008, near the end of his first White House bid.

Some 19 percent of voters say Obama is Muslim, with 34 percent of those identifying as conservative Republicans saying the president is Muslim.

As for Romney, recent surveys have shown Republicans galvanizing behind his candidacy over any objections or concerns about his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A Gallup survey from 2007 showed some 30 percent of voters saying they wouldn't vote for a Mormon for president, but that number dwindled to 10 percent in a poll a month ago.

tburr@sltrib.com

Religion & Politics • One in three GOP conservatives – identify Obama as Muslim.
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