Now, it turns out a better question might be whether Democratic voters would accept a Mormon candidate. In a survey that cuts against the media stereotype, a new Gallup Poll has found that more Democrats than Republicans say they would not vote for a Mormon for president. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats say they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon, while 18 percent of Republicans say the same. For independents, the figure is 19 percent…

But talk to church representatives about the general issue of Mormon acceptance, and you’ll get a glimpse of how they view the party divide. As they see it, familiarity tends to breed acceptance. “We have found that as others get to know us that reservations they may have about us tend to lessen,” says Purdy. “The church is growing, and people are increasingly likely to know a member of the faith — a friend, a colleague, a neighbor.”

In other words, when people don’t know any Mormons and don’t know much about Mormonism, they tend to view Mormon candidates with suspicion. Once they become more familiar with the church and its members, they become more relaxed about it.