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Would You Vote for Someone Just Because They’re Mormon?

Ashley Evanson - January 11, 2011

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Buzz about the 2012 presidential election is already in full swing. But with no real Republican front-runner, really, anyone is game. We’ve been hearing Mitt Romney’s name tossed around as a potential for a while now, but two weeks ago we started hearing another familiar name: Jon Huntsman.

While Huntsman doesn’t have the same national profile as Romney, he has gained status as the ambassador to China and might become more of a threat in the upcoming year. Can you imagine—TWO Mormons (gasp) both running for president?

Now, I understand my next thought doesn’t apply to every Mormon, BUT, I know of a lot of members who vote for politicians based on the fact that they, too, are LDS. And honestly, I know that I’ve been unjustifiably biased toward LDS politicians for the sole reason that we share a religion.

But what if Romney and Huntsman go head to head in 2012? Who will the Mormons vote for?! If their only choice was Romney, I bet a fair number of Mormons wouldn’t really give the other candidates a second thought. But throw Huntsman into the picture and we might actually have to do more research on each candidate’s stances. If they both end up running, it will be interesting to see how members react to the situation over the next two years. Do I sense a hint of BYU vs. Utah-style rivalry in the air?

So what do you think? Does religion play a role in the way you vote? Take our poll or leave a comment below.

Does religion play a role in the way you vote?





Would you vote for a candidate because they are LDS?




Comments 22 comments

katamb said...

11:58 AM
on Jan 11, 2011

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I would not have voted for Harry Reid if I lived in his district, just as I would not vote for someone just because they're LDS. They have to be conservative too.

teachtruthlight said...

04:02 PM
on Jan 11, 2011

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Perhaps long ago we could have voted for an LDS candidate without much question. But it's not as easy to know what they stand for anymore. The division has widened and there is less like-mindedness as a people. Choosing who to vote for, whether LDS or not, must come down to the same things you would consider for any other candidate. Hopefully being LDS will factor in positively, but it is essential to do our homework.

abinadi said...

08:48 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Personally, I feel a Mormon president would represent the ultimate accomodation with the world.

abeste said...

09:14 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Back in 2007, Fox online had a poll matching participants with Rep. and Dem. presidential candidates' stances. I was, like, 92% with Romney, 84% with Huckabee, and less on the rest. There appears to be a "community of thought" between religious practicioners. The closer their religious views, generally, the closer their political leanings. Here in Arizona, though, I sometimes have a difficult time voting for really conservative Mormons and have to (gulp) vote for Democrats.

rlg said...

09:17 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I'm an LDS American, and when I returned to the States after living abroad, I was really surprised (not in a good way) to see just how closely religion and politics get intertwined among many American church members. Some issues are moral issues, yes, but in a lot of cases, the differing parties are concerned about the same issue and just have different ideas for dealing with it. I feel it's irresponsible to combine one's political and religious loyalties into one and the same thing because there are moral and less moral aspects in ALL parties, as well as effective and less effective ideas for solving problems. If a candidate has good ideas for solving domestic problems (without resorting to fear factors), if they have a clue of how to get along with other nations and be a good representative of the US in the world, and if they look like they'll lead the country in a good direction, I vote for them. Sometimes they're LDS and sometimes they're not.

rlg said...

09:17 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I'm an LDS American, and when I returned to the States after living abroad, I was really surprised (not in a good way) to see just how closely religion and politics get intertwined among many American church members. Some issues are moral issues, yes, but in a lot of cases, the differing parties are concerned about the same issue and just have different ideas for dealing with it. I feel it's irresponsible to combine one's political and religious loyalties into one and the same thing because there are moral and less moral aspects in ALL parties, as well as effective and less effective ideas for solving problems. If a candidate has good ideas for solving domestic problems (without resorting to fear factors), if they have a clue of how to get along with other nations and be a good representative of the US in the world, and if they look like they'll lead the country in a good direction, I vote for them. Sometimes they're LDS and sometimes they're not.

178mlw said...

09:41 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I am not LDS, but I would certainly say an LDS member running for office would have an edge in my book. I find nearly all LDS members I've come across to be of solid moral character, and that impresses me deeply. I wouldn't blindly vote for anyone based on a religion, but it certainly helps to sort the pile of contenders.

writerbob said...

10:59 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I'm an active Latter-Day Saint, currently serving as Stake Clerk. I need to agree with the person's politics in order to vote for him. I voted for President Obama in 2008, and anticipate doing so again in 2012. The candidates I vote for must demonstrate the Christ-like attitudes of love, peace and tolerance. So that, unfortunately, leaves most Republicans off my list.

nancyf said...

11:05 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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As a Democratic-leaning independent member of the LDS Church I feel pretty isolated in the church around election time every year. I agree with the person who said that there are moral and less moral aspects of both parties, so have chosen not to use moral issues alone as a factor in selecting how to vote and whom to vote for. Since I am definitely not Republican I didn't have to worry about it when Romney ran as I was quite sure he would not make it past the Republican primary. I probably would not have voted for him if he had as he had swung too far to the right in his effort to win the nomination. And that is my dilemma. An LDS candidate will probably run on the Republican ticket and cannot get the nomination without selling out the far right side of the party, and that is the part of it with which I have issue. I would obviously not rule out voting for an LDS--or any other Republican--but they would have to meet my criteria on what I consider important political issues.

moroni said...

11:12 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I am LDS and certainly religion would enter into the equation however I would have know whether the candidate bases his or her decisions on true principles coupled with fervent prayer. It seem generaly to the world it does not matter the religion as long as they are not Mormon. To me that means they think the Church might influence legislative decisions. The devil sure does not want that. A true American will live close to the spirit and the inspired Constitution. "By the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things". That is not easy, we must do our home work as well.

gramma_b said...

12:37 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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It would be a mistake to vote for Huntsman because of his Mormonism, because he has already indicated that his political ambitions are more important than any commitment he has to the Church. In a CNN article he is quoted as follows: "Indeed, unlike his more devout brothers, who are officials in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jon Jr.'s Mormon credentials are soft. 'I can't say I am overly religious,' he says, noting that his children attend Catholic schools and that one of his adopted daughters was born into a Buddhist culture and another comes from the Hindu tradition. 'I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies.'" I think he is a completely unprincipled man. He is certainly not a conservative. But, if anything, his relationship with the Church, in light of his own comments and actions which I observed while he was governor, would cause me to vote against him.

traveler said...

03:23 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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This was a question that arose during the national elections.I came under withering fire from our own(LDS)people for having doubts about Brother Romney then and still do. My approach to a candidate is simple.Do they stand on and understand the Constitution ,it's values and principles as the Founders meant them to be implemented in government? So far, I have heard nothing on the Constitution from Brother Romney in any of his talks or speaches that I have heard.This gives me pause as to whether he would make a good President, or be better in a cabinet poistion or head of a Federal Dept. In an interview he and his wife had with Neil Cavuto on FOX NEWS a few months ago, Neil asked him about his faith and how that could affect his run in 2012. This was an ideal opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about our Church. Brother Romney demured and his wife stepped in and only said in effect that the way we raise our kids and our family values show what kind of people we are. ( This is a paraphrase.)Huh??? Not enough and dodging the question. The other issue is the debacle in Massachusetts that he hepled implement when it came to socializing medical care there.It never should have been done, let alone a Saint helping to move it along. On September 13 and 14,1843 Joseph Smith attended two lectures by a Communist from Great Britain (where the gathering of socialists was taking place at that time, including Marx. Joseph said a few words at the end of each talk both days. But on the final day he finished his statement with these words. "I do not believe in this doctrine." That should be enough for any Saint, especially in political office, not to entertain even the slightest hint of socialism/communism being a part of our governments. Our Founders made it clear that for this Republic to survive and flourish, it must have men of virtue, principle and religeous values, who are not afraid to stand by them in the public arena, especially of politics.

jps.1 said...

04:41 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I'm disappointed to read comments referring to being 'open-minded' as not considering only moral issues. I can vote for someone who I disagree with on some issues, but I can never vote for a person who is immoral, either dishonest or who tramples sacred marital vows then denies it on world wide television! Similarly, I feel it is imperative that we support the constitution inspired and given to us by God our Father. There are those who like to point to the weakness of the founding fathers and use them to devalue the constitution. We ALL sin and are here to learn to be more like our Father in Heaven. It is against the constitution to draft laws the we all must follow but the congressmen/women are exempt from. In America, no one is above the law - what is good for one is good for all. I certainly would not vote for a candidate because he is LDS as my parents did not vote for JFK because he was Catholic (which we were at the time). Legislators are human, they make mistakes, but they must be moral and uphold the constitution.

randy said...

06:20 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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What is wrong with you people. Why is it a bad thing to value other's views on God? Joseph Smith said that this religion (Mormonism) is the only religion that can embrace all other religions and yet remain true to its roots. Sifting through error until only light and truth remain. If this religion is going to do what the Prophet said it would do (fill the whole Earth) then we as members must love the sinner (those who don't have the full gospel) and diligently work to help them to the fullness. By understanding our commons themes/beliefs (Gordon B. Hinckley often said) and building from those until they can embrace the fullness of the gospel and enjoy the blessings of eternity. I have a friend who adopted a little girl from a Hindi region. They took her to church, taught her the gospel, loved her unconditionally (as one of their own), yes now she is a member, and the light a beauty from this young woman is without equal. All because they loved her, taught her, and allowed her to come to the fullness in her own way. Gramma_b: So apparently I'm a bad person because I sent my son to Catholic school for two years. Why? Because the public schools were awful and so that he could celebrate Christmas and Easter at school. Yes, my wife and I had to be better parents and teach him the gospel more actively (than most passive Utah members do). Yes, we had to discuss the differences and help him understand how and why he was special. It lead to some wonderfully insightful discussions from a 5 and 6 year-old. Traveler: Fox News is not news. It is commentary and thinly vailed rhetoric. It is a propaganda machine that pushes its watchers further and further to the Right and supplants free thinking with doctrine. Everyone I know how watches it regularly has become angry people who can no longer see fact only "truth". Nancyf: Keep your head up. There are other members out there like you who are middle leaning (rational thinking and spirit searching) people who weigh each issue independently prior to making their minds up about it. Members who do not walk party lines but search it out in our minds and then ask God if it be not true.

seanette said...

06:22 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I vote on positions on issues, and on qualifications. I know of some politicians claiming to be active LDS who support same-sex "marriage" and abortion. I cannot in conscience vote for candidates holding positions that are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Gospel.

lseeman said...

09:47 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Reading all these comments excites me. Five years ago I would have voted for someone just based on religion if I didn't know anything specific about them. I also used to vote largely based on moral issues. Mostly because I was naive and didn't take the time to study and understand current political issues. I am glad there are so many who make a conscious effort to vote for people they feel good about, whether I agree with their choice or not. I have actually made it a goal to become a more informed voter. That's what it's all about!

abinadi said...

02:23 PM
on Jan 13, 2011

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Unfortunately any Mormon running for president would have to be right wing Republican. This would not be good for America or for the Church. The missionary outreach of the church in most of the world would suffer very badly because America is not really respected in the world any more. Foreign wars, large US owned corporations etc are causing enormous damage the world over. To have the church associated with that behaviour (however unfairly) would be catastrophic. One of the previous posters quoted Joseph Smith's comment following a series of lectures by a visiting Socialist. This was not particularly useful as the comments to which he was replying were not quoted so we have no way of knowing to what he was refering or what he meant. But whichever way we look at it, and however we might try to dress it up, the Law of Consecration is nothing more or less than theistic communism. I live in a country which has universal health care, just like every other western democracy, except the US. We are not all communists; we are just not prepared to ration health care based on a persons ability to pay at the point of delivery. This is a Christian principle. Does anyone really believe that Christ approves of a system which permits the suffering of someone because they are unable to pay? Many of us (including LDS) are amused as we watch this debate blowing across America - a debate we had, and settled, decades ago. So I realy hope there will not be a Mormon president - Joseph and Brigham would turn in their graves!

jeanmo said...

02:10 PM
on Jan 15, 2011

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I would hope that a member candidate would have the core values that are important to me, but other than that it would make no difference. I would respect someone who held to good values of any religion. At this point, I don't see a member in the running that holds the views that I feel are important and/or the leadership experience to go with it. The bottom line: It is a candidate's beliefs, their values, their commitment to the constitution, our country and families, how they value freedom, and a desire for small government. I will not vote for anyone that wants more government intrusion, higher taxes and more spending whether they are a member or not. We've had more of that in the past two years than all American history combined. I would support a member candidate only carefully, prayerfully and with much study (as I do all candidates), simply because I would not want the church thrown (and sacrificed) upon the alter of politics by the media. My greatest hope is that people will study them all, research their records and cast an informed vote. I pray that there will somehow be two good choices in 2012.

lisanne said...

05:01 PM
on Jan 17, 2011

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There is a big difference between someone's claim to being religious and their morality. So, nope. Religion in and of itself would not be a factor. We have reached the point in time where we must look beyond the superficial titles, including the title of being "LDS" by membership. There are wolves in sheep's clothing everywhere. Please let's not forget this. Strangely enough, I know people who would vote for someone especially if that candidate were NOT LDS. This is as logical as voting for someone based solely on a similar religious background. It's immensely important that we train ourselves to see beyond the superfluous declarations of any person because if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. By the way, these comments are not directed at anyone in particular. ~ Not a pessimist, just a realist.

mormonangel1986 said...

08:14 PM
on Jan 17, 2011

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I will only vote for a true conservative. I would not have voted for Harry Reid if I lived in AZ, because he is not a conservative, and he has rammed through legislation that was written behind closed doors in the dead of the night. He reminds me of Gadianton Robbers, and supposedly he is a member of the church. Romney gave Mass their horrible health care bill that is bankrupting the state. I don't know what John Huntsman Jr.'s political persuasion is, but unless he is a true conservative, he would not get my vote. We need someone who believes in returning to the Constitution, and governing by its standards.

onit said...

01:11 PM
on Feb 25, 2011

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I would just like to say that the person that made the comment that calls their self writerbob is way out of context. I wish that he had not even proclaimed himself LDS. It is people like that I have to wonder how he was able to join the church. I thought a person had to be competent. Look at everything that Obama has done already. He is now in the process of making it ok to marry the same sex. I bet that Heavenly Father is proud of how that is going. Remember that he is the one that brought Adam and Eve together. It is his plan for man and women to be sealed together for time and eternity not man and man or women and women!!!!

randyb84 said...

07:06 PM
on Oct 27, 2011

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As a mormon and as someone very liberal (largely because of my faith), I would find it hard generally to vote for a mormon candidate since I find them typical anti my view of the gospel in practice.
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