A recent poll is certainly telling for potential presidential candidates. According to the poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, 67% of voters said that it is important to them for their president to have strong religious beliefs. The October Religion & Politics Tracking Survey, conducted between October 19 and 23rd, surveyed 1,019 people and has a plus or minus 3% margin of error.
Interestingly enough, which religious beliefs was not the important component; people just like a candidate to hold convictions of some sort. However, they seem to draw the line at Mormonism, as 42% of those polled said that they were either somewhat or very uncomfortable with the idea of having a Mormon president.
The study said,
“These findings suggest that when voters report that it is important that a candidate have strong religious beliefs, they have certain types of religious beliefs in mind, and hold significant reservations about the beliefs of some minority religious groups.”
Issue Reaching a Head
With two Mormon candidates in the 2012 presidential race, the issue has certainly come to the forefront. Both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman are Mormon.
At the same time that people show discomfort with the idea of having a Mormon president, they don’t actually know what that means. Two-thirds of respondents thought that Mormonism is actually a Christian religion.