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Anti-Mormonism in America Update

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.

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  • thibaud

    A lot of this is probably continuing bitterness over the mormons’ hostility toward gay marriage, esp in California.

  • Eric from Texas


    But why doesn’t that bitterness extend to the African-American and Hispanic communities who opposed gay marriage in California?

  • thibaud

    Eric – because in CA, it was perceived that most of the mormon money used to help shoot down the referendum came from outside the state.

  • Eric from Texas


    But why is that any different from the recent WI recall elections, where much of the money on both sides came from outside WI?

    Seems like a convenient excuse to reinforce existing bigotry. I’m old enough to remember people saying, “Group X did this, therefore I hate them.” Group X used to be blacks, Jews, or Catholics. Now it’s Mormons. Old bitter vinegar in new bottles.

  • Russell Snow

    I went from never voting for a Mormon to Anybody but Obama. I am eating my words. I think when a lot of people looked at the choice, a Mormon doesn’t look that bad.

  • thibaud

    Eric from TX – doesn’t sound too different, agreed – although, human nature being what it is, when OurSide raises 8x as much money from out of state as OtherSide, then it’s a good thing.

    I’m not taking sides on this issue,. I’m just offering one reason that may help explain the bitterness among many people in CA toward a particular group with very deep pockets, a group whose numbers and influence in CA were always seen as trivial before this issue came up.

    In any case, gay marriage is certain to become a non-issue by the time my kids have kids, so I don’t really pay much attention to it.

  • Kris

    thibaud@6: “gay marriage is certain to become a non-issue”

    “issue”: The immediate descendants of a person.

  • Jim.


    It’s doubtful that even 4% of America knows that Mormons supported Prop 8. And it’s even less likely that anyone would be pointing out “the bitterness among many people in CA” if they weren’t one of those bitter people themselves.

    Were you aware that for a time, the Mormon church considered settling in central California rather than Utah? (God only knows why they picked Utah.) The “numbers and influence” are pretty significant, here.

    Nice attempt to cover your tail there, but there really isn’t any reason any of us should buy it. You don’t like Mormons — any religious people, really — and you’re trying to justify it.

    The only thing Leftists hate more than people who disagree with them is people who point out that what they’re doing is, in fact, hating.

  • thibaud

    @ Jim – “You don’t like Mormons — any religious people, really — and you’re trying to justify it.”

    Stop fibbing, Jim. On the other mormon threads, I repeatedly DEFENDED mormons from all the know-nothing Christian fundamentalist nuts who flock to these boards.

    I pointed out that mormons in this country tend to have higher ethical standards and make better neighbors, that “where mormons go, families are strong and communities are prosperous.” I gave an example of a mormon community in Mexico that is, as I put it, an oasis of stability and prosperity in an ocean of squalor.

    I don’t begrudge the mormons or any other group their participation in our electoral process. I just pointed out why secular liberals across California are upset that a measure which everyone expected to pass easily a couple years ago is now delayed by a few years.

    Did mormon money make the difference? I don’t know.

    But I do know that nearly gay person in this country was watching the CA vote, and that most of them know that mormons had an outsized influence in the surprising outcome.

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