Quin Monson, a political scientist at Brigham Young University, told that while there’s no direct attempt on the part of the Mormon church to help Romney, his failed ’08 presidential bid was a “wake-up call for Mormon leaders and rank-and-file alike to the fact that some people don’t like us.”

When Romney ran for president in 2008, he was questioned repeatedly about his faith, prompting him to declare in a speech that if he were elected, he would not allow Mormon leaders to “ever exert influence on presidential decisions.”

“And the negative reaction Romney got among some groups was a rude awakening,” Monson said. “And that likely is what caused Mormon leaders to think about what we can do about our image.”