The latest Gallup polling on Americans’ attitudes towards a Mormon presidential candidate offers some good news and some bad. The bad news is that liberal anti-Mormonism–a politically opportunistic breed of bigotry that has exploded with the rise of Mitt Romney, and which we have tracked carefully at Via Meadia–remains potent. Per Gallup:
Negativity toward a Mormon candidate increases from 10% among Republicans to 18% among independents to 24% among Democrats.
Presumably this is less of a factor in Nevada, where Majority Leader Harry Reid keeps getting re-elected despite his Mormon faith.On the other hand, the overall percentage of Americans who say they would refuse to vote for a Mormon president has dropped to 18% from 22% last year. Perhaps the increased exposure of Americans to Mormons during this election cycle has helped to demystify them. Or perhaps the change is just a sampling anomaly.As the presidential campaign progresses, we will keep an eye on similar polls to see whether or not this heartening decrease in bigotry proves a trend or mere statistical noise.