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Yes, Mitt may have an evangelical problem at the moment. However, if he gets the nomination, the result will be that the left will be filled with venom and use anything they can to slander him - especially his religion!

While I agree that the main reason Romney's religion presents an obstacle to his winning the nomination is that many conservative Evangelicals harbor ugly feelings towards Mormonism, I think it's overstating it to say that the "Mormon problem" is only with Evangelicals. There are Regular Joes who will need to get over initial prejudices if they are going to vote for Romney, just because they're not familiar with the Church, they don't know any Mormons, and the main association with the Church in their minds is with polygamy. The difference, I think, is that the Regular Joe is more likely to get over the initial prejudice when presented with a candidate that is otherwise appealing. The anti-Mormon sentiment among hardcore Evangelicals is much more deeply ingrained.

Then, of course, there is the irrational anti-religious invective coming from the left (Jacob Weisberg's Slate piece, being a good example), but they aren't much of a problem for Romney because they don't vote in the Republican primary, they don't have much influence over Republican primary voters, and Romney never had a chance with them in the general election anyway.

The only problem Mitt has is this. He's a BIG GOVERNMENT LIBERAL. Other than that he's great, but I hope will never be President.


I've got lots of problems with Romney at this stage. But I just can't see him being anywhere near the big government guy that Bush is.

I agree with you there Clark. Some on the right have faulted Romney for being a big government liberal; some on the left are scared that he's going to be a Pres. Bush-style Christian (I'm right and will stay the course and God is on my side).

Neither group seems to get that Romney is not Bush, and although there is a lot in his record for both sides to find fault in, a close look at his history suggests that he is very much not a Pres. Bush type. For good and/or ill he's a true corporate CEO-type politician* --- which Bush pretended to be, but never really was.

*Which also explains his apparent flip-flopping, or at least Daniel Gross thinks it does.

I think the more interesting part of this post, Dave, is your point that EVERYBODY has an evangelical problem. As long as we allow the religious right to jam their Old Testament, 19th century whack job theology down our throats and call it "Christian," we're all hostage to their agenda (which is anything but Christian).

You know Dave, I'm sympathetic to the whole idea of an "Evangelical problem." I think we do have one.

But from experience in posting my own angry rants about our "Evangelical problem," I should probably warn you that you are painting Evangelicaldom with an extremely broad brush.

Just a heads-up.

Now, moving on... I actually posted on the Get Religion threads on Romney. I go by Rathje over there. I've already explained multiple times that Evangelical bias against Mormons on religious grounds may not translate readily into bias in the voting booth.

I think you'll find that the Christian-Right is a lot more politically pragmatic than you're giving them credit for.

After all, where's the evidence of this Evangelical opposition to Romney? I haven't seen much of it yet. Have you?

I have strongly voted for LDS in political office before that are not as astute and on target as Romney . . .

A choice between him and Hillary . . . I don't even have to pause to think.

But if Romney took the office, Dave, you might in the future imagine armies encircling around LDS Zion in America, and it won't be the evangelicals.

Your comments are always refreshing, Todd, although I'm not sure I catch the armies reference. You know, of course, that I'm referring to Evangelicals as a group, not in any individual or personal sense. There are Evangelicals across the entire spectrum, just as Mormons express a variety of religious and political views, too.

Seth R. is right.

Also, while Mitt has an evangelical problem only because he's running for President. I don't have an evangelical problem. Evangelicals seem to bug you, so you may, but evangelical Christians impact my life for good, if at all.

We may not have noticed the Evangelical-Mormon for president problem yet because we're still a long way away from nominations and elections. People are just now getting warmed up. When the heat is on, you can bet people will start to care. Right now, most folks, who for the most part are only mildly political, haven't yet started to care.

I have a couple close friends who are Republican Evangelicals who live in the south, and I asked them what they would do if Romney was nominated, and they said "he better not get that far." The real quandary for the evangelical is if Romney gets the nomination. I'm not Republican by any stretch of the imagination (I'm outspokenly liberal), but I think Romney's pretty much the only guy that they don't have a whole lot of smut on. This means he's a pretty good candidate for the nomination. Giuliani's not for real, McCain is the worst flip-flopper since Machiavelli, and the only
"bad" thing they got on Romney is his Mormonism. If that's the worst he's done, then he's doing pretty damn good for a presidential candidate.

That said, my buddies in the south concurred that Romney will probably not get Florida in the final election, that Texas might be a problem, and that he probably won't get Ohio. Take those states out, and it's pretty tough for a Republican to win.

Just my two cents.

Who knows? I find it hard to believe, that with all that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have tied up politically with the Republicans that they would allow a revolt like this. But I am sure that they will do all they can to keep from winning the Primary. But at this stage in the game, who knows waht will happne. In '04 it looked like Dean was the big front runner for the Democrats and look what happend to him. Some how he lost whatever he had and Kerry and Edwards ended up making a white house bid. I will end up voting for whoever I think will reduce the size and influence of the Federal Government. And if Romney is the guy most likely to do it, then I will vote for him.

If only Romney were striving to be the Concord Coalition candidate, rather than that of the Christian Coalition ...

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