Poll: Mormons excited about Romney’s rise, but wary of media

Most Mormons in Utah believe that Mitt Romney’s rise to become the likely GOP presidential nominee is a good thing … Continued

Most Mormons in Utah believe that Mitt Romney’s rise to become the likely GOP presidential nominee is a good thing for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But many do not trust the media to cover the church fairly, according to a new poll released Monday (June 25).

The study, conducted by Key Research and Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, is believed to be the first to gauge Mormons’ reaction to Romney’s barrier-breaking achievement. He is the first Mormon to clinch the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party.

More than eight in 10 Utah Mormons said they are “very excited” or “somewhat excited” about Romney’s feat. Nearly as many (77 percent) said his nomination is a good thing for the LDS church; just 2 percent told pollsters it was a negative development.

Utah Mormons do not differ in many respects from Mormons in other states, according to studies conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Kelly Patterson, a political science professor at Brigham Young University, said it is not clear whether the positive feelings toward Romney derive from shared faith or politics. Separate polls show that Mormons are more than twice as likely as other religious groups to vote Republican.

Despite their excitement about Romney, many Mormons remain wary of the media, according to the Key Research/BYU survey.

More than two-thirds of Utah Mormons said the Romney’s nomination will bring bad and good publicity for the LDS church. An identical percentage (68 percent) said they do not trust the media to cover the church fairly.

“It seems like the excitement is higher than the dread,” Patterson said, “even though many members of the LDS faith know that there will be some very uncomfortable moments during this campaign.”

The survey, first published on the blog, Utah Data Points, is based on telephone interviews with 341 Mormons who are registered to vote in Utah. It was conducted June 12-19 and the margin of error is plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.

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  • lufrank1

    Q. “Is Romney Good for Mormons?”

    A. Romney is not good for anyone except the 1%.

  • concolor1

    The average Mormon in Utah is operating under some very sincere–and very misguided–beliefs about their own history. I’ll offer a few as examples, noting that for generations LDS leaders have framed authentic accounts of that history as “anti-Mormon” and essentially the work of the “advesary,” aka Satan. One early example they hold up as a “testimony to their ancestors’ faith” is the story of handcarts being used to emigrate to the Salt Lake Valley. In truth, this “economy measure” was adopted by Brigham Young when donations to the Perpetual Emgiration Fund from wealthy British Mormons slipped to almost nothing following the disclosure of “plural marriage,” aka polygamy in 1852. This practice resulted in the Willie and Martin tragedies, the largest single loss of life during the entire Overland Migration circa 1845-1880. Too, survivors of these ill-fated enterprises were immediately ordered by Young into outlying areas of the Great Basin as a political move to keep the news of the horror from spreading. Worse, the handcart veterans were forced to pay back the “loans” for their passage (even though many had sent their money on to Salt Lake). That’s only a single example; David Roberts’ “Devil’s Gate” offers an excellent accounting of this subject.

    Similarly, Mormons are taught that “Buchanan’s Blunder,” a decision to send troops to Utah to insure that Brigham Young’s replacement as territorial governor would be “seated” was simply more of the “persecution” the Saints had endured in Missouri and Illinois. In truth, Young and his fellow leaders were engaged in fiery rhetoric denouncing the United States for its interference (while claiming to be “loyal” citizens); their agenda was simply a matter of “power politics” and a desire to retain their theocratic hold on Utahans. The end result of this included the Mountain Meadows Massacre; until the Oklahoma City bombing, this was the largest mass murder of U.S. citizens by other Americans, and the closing of the Overland Migration Route, including the mails, occurred as part of the same power play.

    Finally, Mormons are often taught that Utah was “anti-slavery,” when in fact is was admitted as a slave territory, and President Lincoln was worried the inhabitants would side with the Confederacy during the Civil War. This led to the establishment of Camp Douglas on Salt Lake’s East Bench, and the soldiers under Col. Patrick Connor were later engaged in the “Bear River Massacre,” a horrific slaughter of at least 300 Northern Shoshones who occupied lands the LDS settlers coveted. Despite the conflict between Young and the U.S. Government, two of his trusted underlings, Orrin Porter Rockwell and Lot Smith, served as guides for Connor’s soldiers.

    Mormons will dismiss this history as “old and irrelevant,” but the fact is the church-owned Brigham Young University–Mitt Romney’s alma mater–has functioned as a propaganda ministry to present distorted “faith promoting” versions of these events.

  • hmaulden

    For me, it’s a matter of Mormon disingenuousness.

    (1) God told Joseph Smith (in his First vision) that all denominations are an “abomination” to Him. So, Joseph started Mormonism to restore true Christianity. The t’rue Christian church died with the original apostles. And it was re-born through Joseph Smith.

    (2) Until not many years ago, the foundational Endowment Ceremony for all faithful Mormon who want to attend their temples, stated that leaders of other churches were “Hirelings of Satan.”

    (3) Today, Mormons teach and give personal, in-church testimony that theirs is the “one true church.” They mean this literally — that no one can be saved unless they profess belief in Joseph Smith’s teachings. No one is baptized in the eyes of God unless a Mormon performs the baptism (or communion, etc.)

    Question: Why do Mormons feign such offense when anyone states that they are not Christian? They clearly teach and believe that THEY are the only true Christians and that all the rest of us are part of organizations led by Satan. Mormons want it both ways and they will lie and mislead to gain superficial acceptance in public, and then they will condemn mainline Christians during their Sunday services. I know, I have attended their services.

    Let’s leave aside the differences in theology (that God was once a man, just like you and me; that there are millions of gods with their own planets throughout the universe; that faithful Mormons become gods with their own planets and multiple goddess wives procreating together to populate their planet with worshippers, etc.)

    Let’s leave aside Mormons’ myriad and obvious non-Christian beliefs. It is their dishonesty that I don’t like.

    I would not vote for a Mormon UNLESS they confess in public that they attend the one true church and that all other denominations are an abomination to God.

    Finally, The Mormon Law of Consecration: “…you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.” The POTUS must NOT use the position to build up the Mormon Church! But Mitt has covenanted to do just that! Our nation cannot be sovereign if our President is not sovereign! Mitt’s secret covenants are anti-American and express a fanatic loyalty, with death oaths, to an organization above the supposedly sovereignty of the United States of America and its Constitution.

    Look it up yourself. Read the White Horse Prophecy.

    Thanks, Dr. Kolob.