13 June 2012
By David Smith
In this draft paper, David Smith argues that aversion to Mormons is still an important force in American public opinion, and one that seriously affects Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the presidency, even if he ultimately overcomes it. Romney's victory in the 2012 Republican primary has convinced many observers that Romney’s religion is now irrelevant to his electoral chances. The thesis that Mormonism does not matter seems to have found some empirical support in a recent online survey experiment, though other survey experiments conducted with random national samples have found the opposite. Romney received a rousing reception from an evangelical audience when he delivered a commencement address at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in May 2012; he described himself as a Christian rather than a Mormon. Does Romney’s success in the 2012 primary really mean that religious identity has melted away as an issue? Read Paper
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