Huge issue that The Romney campaign tries to snowplow through with the, 'He's just a normal guy!' So offer myself up as a messenger to take shots at...
Are there enough people in the Republican voting coalition to select and then elect a Mormon in 2012? Even bigger, with the perceptions about the LDS church to the public at large will enough independents vote for Mr Romney to gain a majority in the electoral college?
The only article I've found that addresses some of the issues at play is by Amy Stevens from back in 2005:
"Compare that (4% that wouldn't vote for a Catholic) to the 17 percent of Americans who currently say they would have qualms electing a Mormon to the White House. That number hasn't changed one whit since 1967, the year that Romney's father considered a presidential run.."
Looks like those numbers came from Pew research (reports below) but I would suggest the reality is worse as people will admit to being more inclusive in an interview than in a voting booth. Some of those people would go ahead and vote for Mr Romney, but I would suggest he will still lose at least half of these people. That's as much as 15% of voting Republicans.
This is not a political issue to these folks. It's an issue of faith and violation of core beliefs. Not to excoriate Mormonism here, but no Christian denomination accepts Mormons as Christians and most consider it a 'cult' offshoot of Christianity. Do Mormons accept Evangelicals as their brothers in Christ? There are all kinds of nuanced answers from a Mormon, if they will talk to you, but they don't see me, with my faith in Christ, as one of them. Just a cursory glance stuff like the 1607 King James Bible, word for word, quotes that were the majority of verbiage in the 2000 years before establishing gold tablets causes my mental processes to hit the tilt meter.
I understand someone searching for a community for their family, or even if their family has been raised in Mormonism for generations, both would gravitate towards Mormonism, but when you are talking about the potential leader of the free world, I would like to have some understanding about their thought process. If Mitt can so easily be mislead by the 'cult' he has invested his faith and family in, how easily can he be mislead (sure he wouldn't consider himself mislead) about other important things?
The Pew Studies are instructive:
-Catholic topic-7% (Group-Voters as a whole) less likely to vote. These are the rabid 'anti-religion' people we hear of all the time. They will never vote Repub anyway. There is actually greater hope here than with an Evangelical because of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi !?
-Evangelical topic-(Group-Repubs only) 16% less likely, 19% more likely (these are the same people that will NEVER vote for Mitt Romney)
So it seems that Mitt would lose more than 50% of the Evangelical voters and 30% of the Independents. That looks like a train wreck worse than the derailed McCain train from the last election...