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Poll of Americans: Better a Mormon than a Muslim in White House

Voters are more comfortable with President Obama's religion—as long as he is not a Muslim.
Poll of Americans: Better a Mormon than a Muslim in White House
Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr | The White House
Poll of Americans: Better a Mormon than a Muslim in White House

Most Americans are comfortable with Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, but they appear more comfortable with President Obama's religion—that is, unless they believe he's a Muslim.

New findings suggest that Romney's religion is unlikely to affect the election, according to a survey sponsored by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The vast majority of those who know Romney is a Mormon are either comfortable with Romney's religion (60 percent) or say it does not matter (21 percent). Just one-fifth said they are uncomfortable with Romney's Mormon religion.

Romney's religion is unlikely to change any votes, but it may lower enthusiasm for his candidacy. More than 90 percent of Republican voters who know Romney is a Mormon say they will vote for him. Among Republicans who say they are uncomfortable with his religion, however, only one-fifth say they strongly support him. That support is half that of other GOP voters (42 percent strong support).

In a recent speech about the shooting victims in Colorado, Romney gave a rare nod to faith.

The public appears fairly comfortable with President Obama's religion. But there is one major difference—the public's comfort with Obama's religion depends on whether they believe he is a Christian or a Muslim.

Just 12 percent of American voters say they are uncomfortable with Obama's religion, half the level of discomfort with Romney's Mormon faith. And while 21 percent said that Romney's religion "doesn't matter," only six percent said Obama's religion is irrelevant.

But the pattern changes for the 12 percent of voters who believe Obama is a Muslim. Only 26 percent of those who believe the President is a Muslim say that they are comfortable ...

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Poll of Americans: Better a Mormon than a Muslim in White House
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