A Mormon Times columnist reviews recent Romney talk. [I'm sure I could find other columns on this topic if I tried.] I like Hewitt's summary of "Romney's M's" (message, money, Michigan, and Mormonism), but basically it's all a variation on the "he'd be a great candidate except for the Mormon thing" theme. Quoting the column: "For some, Romney's faith is an attraction, but for many it remains a negative." More directly, quoting a political commentator's observation: "In addition, Romney's Mormon faith was an issue for some evangelical Christians in the primaries."
In a democracy, voters are entitled to their biases. If a voter goes into a polling booth and won't punch the chad for a particular candidate because of the candidate's race, gender, or religion, so be it. It is publicly broadcasting one's biases — and even defending them — that seems out of place, especially on sectarian religious grounds. Would Evangelicals publicly wring their hands about voting for an African-American candidate because they don't want "one of those people" in office? Have their public opinion leaders declare their opposition to Catholic candidates just because of their Catholicism?
It might be disingenuous for Evangelicals to publicly identify minor political differences in order to justify publicly noising against Romney, but it would at least put them in line with 21st-century political mores. It is like they'd rather have McCain name a weak VP and lose to Senator Obama than make Romney the VP, which doesn't seem the right bargain to make given Evangelical policy preferences. Can anyone figure out Evangelical politics? On any other basis than simple religious identity voting, that is.