Eighteen percent of Americans say they wouldn’t vote for a well-qualified presidential candidate who is a Mormon, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.
The bias against a Mormon candidate has remained essentially unchanged since 1967, when Romney's late father -- former Michigan Gov. George Romney -- was running for president. The total was 17 percent when Gallup asked the question back then.
Still, 80 percent of those polled said that they would vote for a “generally well-qualified” Mormon candidate, up 5 percentage points from 45 years ago.
The poll has been taken every time there was a major Mormon candidate on the ticket—the elder Romney in 1967, Orrin Hatch in 2000, and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. Bias was slightly higher at 24 percent in 2008.
Poeple with more post-high school education were less likely to hold the same biases as those with just a high school education. Twenty-three percent of high school graduates said they would not vote for a Mormon candidate, while only 6 percent of postgrads held that bias.
Some analysts suggested during the Republican primary process that Romney's religion could be a handicap among evangelical Christians. The poll found no difference in bias among Catholics, Protestants and those with no religious identity.
The poll of 1,004 adults was conducted June 7-10. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.