So much for the Mormons rising up for Romney! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) was widely believed by democrats to be pushing its members to vote for fellow member Mitt Romney in the recent presidential election. The truth is, the Church doesn’t endorse candidates and they certainly don’t suggest who its members should vote for. That practice didn’t pay off for Romney on Election Day. In 2004, George W. Bush gained 80 percent of the LDS vote while Romney only received 78 percent last week. However, The Salt Lake Tribune says, “Statistically speaking, that means Romney broke even with past Mormon performance.” Still, surprising results given that Romney is LDS. Quin Monson, a political scientist at Brigham Young University said, “When it comes down to the actual vote, party was more important than any sort of tribal affinity for Romney.”
Also surprising were the stats on white evangelical votes for Romney, 79 percent voted for him. They are the same group who have typically thought of Saints as “non-Christian” or “cultish”. Mark DeMoss, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign and the guy who tried to bridge the gap with the evangelicals said, “Several years ago I would have been pessimistic that could be achieved. A lot of us tried to encourage evangelicals to consider common values and not common theology. The more we talked about common values the more comfortable evangelicals became.” Evidence of that came when soon after meeting with Romney, evangelical leader Billy Graham removed the LDS Church from its websites list of cults. There was a lot of backlash about the move, but it clearly helped. The question is, will it stay off the list now that the election is over?
DeMoss pointed out that some Church members align more with LDS member and democrat Harry Reid. Those members are definitely the minority. Reid stands for so many things contrary to the teachings of the Church. Romney once told DeMoss, “You know what, there are Mormons I wouldn’t vote for and there are Mormons who wouldn’t vote for me.” 90 percent of LDS Church members in Utah voted for Romney, again proving they are more conservative. President Obama benefited from a religious group of voters as well, black Protestants. Back in 2004, John Kerry got 86 percent of their votes, but Obama got 94 percent in 2008 and 95 percent this time around.
Â© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012