Republican Mitt Romney’s religion may negatively affect his 2012 presidential bid, according to a new Gallup poll that found 22 percent of Americans would not vote for candidate who was a Mormon.
The telephone survey of more than 1,000 adults found that though a majority of citizens would support a Mormon candidate, 18 percent of Republican voters and 27 percent of Democrats would not vote for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Indifference to voting for a Mormon has not changed much since 1967.
Voter opposition to a Mormon candidate could hurt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who are both members of the church. Huntsman is expected to announce his candidacy on Tuesday.
Unwillingness to vote for a Mormon president varied most based on educational level, with those who did not attend college more resistant (31 percent) than those with some college (20 percent) or college graduates (12 percent). The survey found no significant difference in opinions by gender, age, religious preference, or geographical location.
Some good news for Romney and Huntsman: The year before John F. Kennedy was elected, becoming the nation’s first Catholic president, a quarter of Americans said they would not vote for a Catholic.
Results to the poll are based on telephone survey conducted June 9 to 12 with a margin of error of plur or minus four percentage points.