US voters uncomfortable with Mormon president: poll


US voters are uncomfortable with the idea of a president who is a Mormon, even as Massachusetts ex-governor Mitt Romney, a member of that church, leads the pack of Republican White House hopefuls, a poll released Wednesday found. The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey showed that Romney would lose 41-47 percent in a head-to-head election with Barack Obama, contrary to the results of a Washington Post/ABC News poll out Tuesday that showed Romney narrowly defeating the president. According to the Quinnipiac poll, only 45 percent of registered voters had a favourable view of Mormonism, while 32 percent had an unfavourable view. Only atheists and Muslims had less support in the survey.
Mormonism originated in the 1820s in western New York state. It is the main religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement, and is controversial in the United States in part because it fuses Christian theology with teachings that other religious scholars feel are not consistent with standard Christian doctrine. US voters apparently “have many more questions about a Mormon in the White House than they do about followers of other religions,” said Peter Brown with the Quinnipiac pollsters.
“And most don’t see much similarity between their religion and Mormonism,” he said. Many conservative Christians see Mormonism as a cult or even a heresy. The Republican Party’s base includes a strong contingent of conservative evangelical Christians that would presumably vote against a Mormon — yet according to the Quinnipiac poll, the Democrats are least tolerant.