Baptists cool to Mitt because Mormons keep luring away their congregation?

So says Reuters. Is this really an issue? LDS apparently doesn’t keep numbers so we’re flying purely on anecdote here.

I thought conservatives liked competition.

The reason Romney faces difficulties with Southern Baptists, according to many experts, is his Mormon faith. Not only do many Southern Baptists regard the Mormon church as a cult, they also regard it as a competitor that is winning — or poaching — converts from among the evangelical flock.

“There are now more Mormons that used to be Southern Baptist than any other denomination,” said Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a 16-million strong group.

“As a consequence, Southern Baptists and other evangelicals have taught their people what Mormons believe and why it’s beyond the boundaries of the Christian faith, to inoculate them against those Mormon missionaries,” he told Reuters…

“Some Southern Baptists will live near Mormon communities functioning at their best, where they will see in practice the kind of family-oriented, sober, diligent, and disciplined lives that Southern Baptists preach but do not always display,” said Mark Noll of the University of Notre Dame.