Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mitt Romney's Problem - 37% Of Americans Don't Want A Mormon President


A new poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times shows a lot of Americans don't want a Mormon President. If accurate, it could foreshadow a problem for Mitt Romney, (pictured at left) a leading Republican Presidential Candidate for 2008 who's also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here for the original story from KUTV Channel 2 in Salt Lake City.

Romney hasn't formally announced his candidacy, but he has said he won't run for another term as governor of Massachusetts, and he has raised a lot of money for a possible 2008 Presidential run. He is one of the Republicans who seems to have a good chance. Romney took over the Utah Winter Olympics when they were in trouble and led them to success. He then became Republican governor of Massachusetts, cutting the state deficit and enacting universal health care coverage. Promising Presidential timber, right?

Not so fast. The aforementioned poll shows Romney has a problem – his LDS church membership. Thirty-seven percent of those asked nationwide by the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll said they would not support a Mormon for president. When asked about other religions:

• 22% said they wouldn't support an Evangelical Christian

• 14% said they wouldn't support a Jew

• 9% said they wouldn't support a Roman Catholic

• 53% said they wouldn't support a Muslim

People near Temple Square in Salt Lake City said they didn't think Romney’s religion should be much of a problem. “They should look at his record, not at his religious affiliation,” said one Salt Laker. “I don't think it will hurt him too badly,” another person said. Romney's staff in Massachusetts said he will not comment on polls, but Romney expects his religion to be discussed, and he hopes to be able to reassure voters on the subject.

One Boston Herald columnist thinks he has greater problems than religion. In her latest Boston Herald column, Virginia Buckingham critiqued his inconsistent financial approach and downplayed his efforts at streamlining government:

"For starters, Romney, according to the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, proposed a state budget with a bottom line that would make most red-staters blush. The Legislature, as usual, outspent him, but the governor’s 2007 budget proposed $26.9 billion in off- and on-budget spending, an increase of more than $1 billion over 2006, or 4.3 percent.

There’s nary a new tax cut in Romney’s record to warm conservative hearts either, but loads of higher fees and hikes in corporate taxes to raise their eyebrows. He’s backed a weak work requirement for welfare recipients, made little progress on true government restructuring (what, besides initials, has changed at the DCR/MDC?), and Romney can’t point to any huge gains in job creation."

For more information on Mitt Romney, see my previous post entitled "Mitt Romney Condemns Judicial Terrorism", June 28th, and visit the Mitt Romney for President in 2008 Blog. Also see an interesting article on the CBS News website concerning the possible outcome of a McCain-Romney race.

Analysis: John F. Kennedy encountered the same opposition over his Roman Catholicism in 1960, and successfully overcame it, so, with time, Mitt Romney will overcome much of the opposition to Mormonism. Some of the opposition are Evangelicals who've been led to believe that Mormonism is a cult. This opposition is fueled at the core by apostate ex-Mormons who were excommunicated for cause and established apostate anti-Mormon ministries to get revenge against the LDS church. Two of the leading apostates are Ed Decker, who leads Saints Alive In Jesus, and Jim Spencer, who leads Through The Maze Ministry.

The greater part of the opposition are liberals and progressives who are pro-choice and pro-gay and who would oppose any conservative candidate of faith, regardless of denomination.

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