A survey of Republican voters shows that Mitt Romney's faith may still be a big stumbling block on his path to the GOP nomination.
The Pew survey shows that Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are the top choices among Republicans, but Romney trails badly among white evangelicals.
Jamelle Bouie says the animosity felt toward Mormons by evangelicals is going to be a difficult hill to climb for Romney.
This is very different from conservative evangelical hostility toward Catholics, which dissipated in the 1970s and 1980s (for a taste of old-school fundamentalist anti-Catholic rhetoric, read a Chick tract). Catholics, at the very least, shared key doctrines with evangelicals. Mormons are in a different boat entirely, and Romney will have to overcome that prejudice to win the nomination, given the evangelical stranglehold on Republican grassroots operations.
It's possible that he'll succeed, but I'm skeptical. After all, he isn't the only plausible candidate for the nomination, and if the contest comes down to two generic Republicans, I'm fairly confident that evangelical voters will prefer a run-of-the-mill Christian (Tim Pawlenty) to his Mormon counterpart.
Matthew Yglesias says it's not a "Mormon" problem so much as a "Christian" problem for Romney.
Specifically, it's very important to a lot of American Christians that other people be Christian. The media is dominated by secular people who aren't invested in this sort of thing, and tend to accept at face-value the idea that Mormonism is one of several Christian denominations, but a great many Christians disagree with this diagnosis. After all, it's part of the essence of Bible-based Protestantism that the Bible doesn't have a sequel. The Catholic church says that Mormon baptisms are invalid and United Methodist Church says "that the LDS Church is not a part of the historic, apostolic tradition of the Christian faith."