Why voters don't care about Mitt Romney's Mormonism

1. They don’t pay attention, period. Voters, evangelical and otherwise, pay a fraction of the attention to the minutiae of the campaign trail as political reporters. Many remain unaware who major evangelical leaders are endorsing even if they do. As the Pew survey shows, voters of all stripes do little to seek out facts about the candidates, and what they believe bears little resemblance to reality. Only 60 percent know Romney is a Mormon—nearly half of the electorate. An astounding 51 percent told the pollsters they did not know or believe that Obama is a Christian, including nearly a fifth of the population that believes he is a Muslim. It’s hard for voters to care very much about a candidate’s faith when they have little idea what it is.

2. They don’t vote based on religion. Not only do voters have huge information gaps when it comes to candidates’ religions, but they are not interested in learning more. Another Pew survey released July 24 found that only 16 percent of voters want to know more about Romney’s faith. There are a couple of explanations for that fact; voters may think they already know what candidates believe, or they might not find it particularly relevant to who they plan on voting for…

4. The religious are joining forces. Beck’s pastoral role in the Tea Party might have been the closest evangelicals and Mormons ever came to each other, but it wasn’t their first joint effort. California’s Proposition 8, the now-overturned amendment that banned same-sex marriage, was a darling evangelical cause that leaned heavily on Mormon money and votes to be enacted. Prominent evangelicals may still be calling Mormonism a “cult,” but the fight against same-sex marriage proved more powerful than labels.