PRINCETON, NJ — Something about the Mormon religion apparently disturbs a significant portion of the American population. A quarter of Americans in a recent Gallup Poll said they would not vote for an otherwise well-qualified presidential candidate who is a Mormon. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 29% of Americans said they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who is a Mormon.
These negative attitudes appear to be based on more than just concerns about the Mormon religion in a presidential context. New Gallup polling shows that 46% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the Mormon religion in general, slightly higher than the 42% who have a favorable opinion.
- Americans who are more religious (as measured by frequency of church attendance) and those who are Protestant have highly negative views of the Mormon religion. The differences in views of Mormons among groups defined by their church attendance are significant. There is a net negative view ofÂ -21 points among Americans who attend church weekly, contrasted with a net positive view of +10 among those who seldom or never attend church.
- Protestants are significantly more negative in their views than Catholics, who are the most positive group by religion.
- There are minor partisan differences. Republicans are slightly more negative in their views of Mormons than are either independents or Democrats.