Why the Marist/NBC VA Poll is Explosive for National Politics

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    by Paul Goldman

    Like it or not, I think the case can now be made that the mainstream media is biased against Mitt Romney. Forget the horse race numbers in this Marist/NBC poll, voter model Virginia voters skews Democratic because it under weights by a decent amount white voters in a rather weird way really.

    But when you just look at the likely GOP primary voters, there is a result that confirms what some of us have been trying to get into print because we as a country need to deal with it.

    Namely: The Mormon issue is killing Romney. In fact, it explains the whole strategy of Rick Santorum from jump street (Santorum, who is about as qualified to be President of the United States as Herman Con, or Michele Bachwards or Donald Chump).

    It is the third question to the end, buried deep inside the poll. It reads simply: “Do you consider a Mormon to be a Christian, or not?”

    Yes: 56%.

    No/Unsure: 44%.

    That’s right, your eyes don’t deceive you: only 56% of the GOP likely votes consider Mitt Romney a Christian! This primary electorate consisted of 88% of voters who said they were either Protestant or Catholic.

     

    Let’s cut to the political chase: This is the GOP, where many voters have a de facto religious test for President — demanding that a candidate explain how his or her religion has impacted theirs lives and helps shape the values they will take into the Oval Office, indeed part of their decision-making.

    Romney cannot meet this test, not only because he is a Mormon but because being a Mormon, he can’t discuss his religion in this required fashion given the obvious doubts Christian Republican’s have about his faith. What is he going to say, he is going to read the Book of Mormon every morning in the Oval Office?

    If you know anything about religion and politics in this country, you know how explosive the situation is under the surface of the GOP. Did you not pay attention to what Reverend Huckabee was basically saying in 2008 when took out Romney in Iowa?

    THIS IS THE HUGE UNREPORTED ISSUE OF 2012.

    Bottom line: Mitt Romney is a serious victim of religious profiling inside the GOP.

    He needs to be seen that way, it is only fair. He is victim even though is very rich and not the most user friendly candidate in history.

    Democrats did it to Al Smith in 1928 for being Catholic, so neither party can claim purity.

    It is a human nature problem. The GOP needs to face it.

    But so does the media. NOW.

    A legitimate candidate for President whose campaign is a victim of religious prejudice is entitled to have the media and sensible people come to his defense whether they think he is the right choice for President or not.

    It is the fair and necessary thing to do for the good of the country.

    • Period. The fact that there is one, by Republicans (no atheists, Muslims, maybe Mormons, etc.) is simply unAmerican.  

    • kindler

      Although this is far from Romney’s only problem, I agree it is crippling him among the born again GOP base.

      Compare that to the party that in 2008 featured a presidential nominating race between a woman and a mixed-race African American man.  And it becomes obvious why the Republicans are not fit to lead 21st century America.

    • As I’ve often said, I grew up deep in evangelical/fundamentalist world, and my parents still reside there.  This is a serious issue.  I heard many many times that Mormonism was a cult growing up.  It has eased up some, from when I was growing up, and it’s less significant among younger religious voters, but it’s still there.  Especially when you consider that the core Republican constituency has on the older side of the demographic line.  

      Of course, for the record, I also grew up hearing that Catholics weren’t going to make it into heaven either.  Which is why it made me sigh when I heard Santorum’s (very recent) speech about how Mainline Protestantism has left Christianity in his opinion. (I am now what is known as a “mainline protestant”).

       Yeah, I’ve heard it all before, in all different ways.  And the fact that we still talk like all these years later makes me, frankly, “want to throw up.”