WASHINGTON (RNS) Roughly two out of three Americans say it makes no difference to them if a presidential candidate is Mormon, according to a new Pew Research Center poll, although evangelicals are more cautious.
The poll found that 68 percent of respondents said a candidate’s Mormon faith would not matter, while one in four said they would be less likely to support a Mormon.
White evangelicals were most likely to care about a candidate’s Mormon faith, with one third of them saying they would be less likely to support a Mormon candidate, compared to 24 percent of the religiously unaffiliated and 19 percent of Catholics and white mainline Protestants.
Half of registered voters who had heard of Mormon candidate Mitt Romney said there’s at least some chance they would support him in 2012.
Among those who are less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate, just 31 percent said there was at least some chance the former Massachusetts governor would be their choice.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is also a Mormon, is expected to announce his plans soon.
While 82 percent of registered voters had heard of Romney, 32 percent knew of Huntsman, who recently resigned as the U.S. ambassador to China. Slightly more than a third of registered voters who had heard of Huntsman said he had at least some chance of getting their vote.
The survey, conducted May 25-30, is based on a national sample of 1,509 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.