The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Pollster

Mormons, Party Regulars Fuel Romney Success

Updated: 5:38By Jon Cohen
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney appeared to score his third win by taking the Nevada GOP caucuses, and entrance poll results from MSNBC provide the tale of the tape.

A quarter of GOP caucusgoers were Mormon, according to the network's poll, and they broke overwhelmingly for Romney, himself a Mormon. Ninety-four percent of Mormons supported Romney, who also outpaced his rivals among Protestants and Catholics, but by smaller margins.

Romney more than tripled up Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) among white caucusgoers, while Latinos (9 percent of the electorate) preferred Romney by a more narrow margin over Arizona Sen. John McCain (41 percent to 25 percent).

And as in Michigan last Tuesday, Romney won big among party regulars and staunch conservatives in Nevada. Republicans made up 86 percent of caucusgoers, and 58 percent of them supported Romney and 12 percent McCain. Among "very conservative" voters (40 percent of the electorate), Romney won by more than 5 to 1.

About a quarter of voters were evangelical Christians, and 38 percent in this group went for Romney, 22 percent for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and 18 percent for Paul.

Top issues in the race: economy 37 percent, illegal immigration 34 percent, terrorism 13 percent and Iraq 9 percent. Romney won among each group.

Romney was alone among the top tier GOP contenders to run an active campaign in Nevada. South Carolina's primary is also today and drew most of the candidates' attention. Those polls close at 7 p.m. eastern.

Posted at 2:03 PM ET on Jan 19, 2008  | Category:  The Pollster
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I can't believe some of the things that I have read on hear this morning. It is very sad that people are SO closed minded. There are a few things that I would like to address, I am mormon and so is my husband and we are very proud of this, very much so.

The comment was made that "we" are "insular" why is this? Because we don't drink nor do drugs or have same sex marriages and we believe that sunday is a day of worship and monday evenings are to be dedicated to turning off your phone and spending quality time with your children and significant other? Because we donate 10% of our monthly income to support tragedies like 911 and hurricane katrina? Because Christ and families are the VERY FOUNDATION of our church and beliefs? because we don't believe in putting yourself in debt for unnecessary luggeries? Because we believe in Saving your body for the person you will marry? Becuase we are taught to get as much education and as high of a degree as we can, because we don't wear clothing that exposes our private areas? this is why we are insular? To be perfectly honest, when our nation has had it's head between it's knees, the mormon faith was THE FIRST to be there, we donated the MOST FUNDS OUT OF ANY OTHER FAITH IN THE ENTIRE U.S

My husband and I attended one of the Colorado Caucus's last night, Romney won our state. My husband and i both voted for him, not because he is mormon. It was mentioned last night that McCain has "contacts" in the white house and can get further. Presidential candidacy should not be based on religion nor a popularity contest in the white house. As it has been said before, Romney Has saved many large businesses from falling, the Olympics that just passed which is a NATIONAL event would not have happened had it not been for Romney, there was also a situation in MA that he cleaned up and completely fixed which in doing so gained quite a bit of "friends" in the white house. Look at what he's bringing to the white house? Values (and YES values ARE important, we ALL saw what kind of values Clinton had when he was in the white house and it was an embar. to our country), a strong, firm political background, the plans he has for the republican party, for your children, the education system, which he also had a large hand in the "no child left behind Act" in the state of utah. He may not have as LONG a political page as McCain but for someone who has been in as short as he, he has accomplished more than anyone else who has been in his length of time. If you look at all of his old speaches, this man IS a man of his word, he has done and followed through with EVERYTHING he said he was going to.

In addition to that, mormons are christians, our church is called The CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST Of Latterday Saints for goodness sake! So I really hope that your vote ISN'T based on "so-called secret cults, hand shakes, ceremonies" Read the Bible, ceremonies have been going on for quite some time now.

For all those who are upset at people for voting for Huckabee. I personally am glad that they are because WE ALL KNOW that in the end it's going to be between McCain and Romney, so if others are waisting their vote on him as opposed to Mccain, I'm glad because that gives Romney more of a chance to win, Romnay has already won 13 states that I know of, so let them go on with their ideas of Huckabee. hopefully that stats won't change to much when the independants are allowed to vote, that's my only concern.

Posted by: ybedull | February 6, 2008 1:13 PM

I'd never really thought of that. Do Mormons appear insular because we don't go out for drinks with our work-buddies?

What Do Mormons Believe?

Posted by: mrmcplad | January 22, 2008 1:02 AM

AMormon population 6.8% fueling 51% victory for Romney in Nevada is hardly an objective assessment of what really happened. This article implies it was the Mormon's that won the election for Romney. It is simply a false conclusion.

Posted by: bryantford | January 20, 2008 7:02 PM

A Mormon population 6.8% fueling 51% victory for Romney in Nevada is hardly an objective assessment of what really happened. This article implies it was the Mormon's that won the election for Romney. It is simply a false conclusion.

Posted by: bryantford | January 20, 2008 7:02 PM

A Mormon population 6.8% fueling 51% victory for Romney in Nevada is hardly an objective assessment of what really happened. This article implies it was the Mormon's that won the election for Romney. It is simply a false conclusion.

Posted by: bryantford | January 20, 2008 7:02 PM

I grew up LDS (Mormon) My whole family is as well as my boyfriend's family. I respect and appriciate Mormons, and will never say anything against them. What I do not understand is why people think they should bring religion into a presidental election. I simply pray that everyone votes for who they feel is the best to suit their needs. I am far more concerned about the state of our economy than who said what to who. Yes Mormons are a close nit group who ask oppinions from each other, but you have to think about other people. We should be thinking the good in people instead of always digging up the bad. And to all of the LDS members who are reading this you should not take offence so easily. This site is simply stating the facts quit thinking the entire world is out to get you, you are not so special, no one truely cares anymore. BTW Mormon in chinese means Gates Of Hell which is why we are not aloud to activly preach in china it has nothing to do with our beliefs. I personaly am voting for Ron Paul or Obama. I know that there are those who will simply vote for Romney because he is Mormon but who cares tthere will be those people in every section of the country because they are to lazy to look up any info on anyone and put their trust completly in one person.

Posted by: breeanagibson | January 19, 2008 10:51 PM

to 44.brian:

George Washington was a Mason. The Mason's have secret ceremonies. Would you feel uncomfortable voting for George Washington?

Posted by: jayj | January 19, 2008 10:08 PM

Because of the support that Romney appears to be receiving from the Mormon community, there is an assumption by the press that Mormons just automatically support a candidate if he's a Mormon. I think if this were the case, there would have been much greater support for another prominent Mormon who recently ran for president -- Orin Hatch's 2000 campaign. Hatch didn't receive unilateral support from the Mormon community. On the contrary, I'd say that many if not most of us (I'm a Utah Mormon represented by Hatch) saw him as a Washington insider who has spent too many years in DC making deals and compromises. The fact that he is a Mormon told me that we share many of the same values, but didn't convince me he was qualified to be president of the United States. By and large, Mormons are a well-educated, politically astute group who vote for the person who best represents their views, not the one who shares their faith. Romney happens to fit into both categories for many of us.

Posted by: mwdirects | January 19, 2008 8:56 PM

Go Mitt! Eh, let's not bicker so much. We are all Americans you know?

Posted by: paul.frost | January 19, 2008 8:24 PM

44.Brian, you have just demonstrated your complete ignorance to world religions. Go back 3000 years to Solomons temple. Only a select few worthy priests were permitted into the in courts of the temples. That the Mormons only allow worthy members into the temples is consistent with ancient Jewish customs. And remember, Jesus was a Jew, and Christianity evolved from the Jewish practices.
So, tell me Brian, why is this a bad practice? And what does this have to do with Mitt Romney winning in Nevada? I have to believe you are another one of those Huckleberry bigots who push pole your bigotry, and send out bogus Christmas cards on behalf of Mr Romney.

Posted by: jeffchandler1 | January 19, 2008 8:13 PM

Here we go with all the Mormon slander. Yeah, yeah, yeah...we have secret handshakes, and covert political meetings in our temples, and stashes of money buried under the Great Salt Lake. We worship salamanders, and eat goat testicles. GIVE ME A BREAK! This Mormon bigotry has been going on for over 150 years, and its not working. We are a group of productive, God-fearing citizens who love our children, and try to live by the Golden Rule. We don't deserve this discrimination.

Posted by: jeffchandler1 | January 19, 2008 8:04 PM

With all due respect, the LDS are the only religion I know which have secret religious ceremonies. It should not be surprising that many non-LDS feel uncomfortable about this.

Posted by: 44.brian | January 19, 2008 7:36 PM

I read someone (I think Dualag) remark that Mormons have been political in the past and that that might have been a factor in Romney's Nevada blowout.
The truth is that the Mormon church has taken some political stances in the past (they have spent money to oppose gay marriage, and the president of the Church at the time of the vote to repeal Prohibition urged the members to oppose alcohol legalization), but the church has always taken a neutral stance on what person to choose for president.
I am a member, and have campaigned some with my fellow LDS friends in the past few months to support Romney, but I have done that just as much with my non-LDS friends. Political talk is very taboo in church, and I have only discussed Romney with my fellow members in other casual meetings.
I actually opposed Romney in 2006 because of his previous abortion stance, but I am a deep-rooted fiscal conservative, and this brought me to settle on Romney.
A good point was made that even without the Mormon vote, Romney still would have sealed the deal in Nevada.
My big question is how come McCain/Huckabee get away with having not campaigned in Nevada/Wyoming? In a race that is more and more shaping up to look like a national contest, as opposed to the nominee being decided in the first few states, doesn't it seem to have been political strategic stupidity to have avoided some states? Or maybe McCain/Huckabee just didn't have the funds to campaign in those cross-the-country states. Either way, it is a blatant hole in either the fundraising or strategizing of those two campaigns. Unfortunately, the liberal, weak-GOP-candidate-loving press failed both times to recognize that.

Posted by: sl285 | January 19, 2008 7:13 PM


After Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross did a survey to find out more about the volunteers that tend to help after a natural disaster. They found that overwhelmingly those spending many tireless hours in the cleanup, donations, and long-term recovery of those regions are Mormons. Additionally, the Utah branch of the United Way is one of the healthiest branches in the U.S. despite Mormons already donating 10% of their take-home income to tithing and an additional 3.5% to fast offerings/oblations. Statistically, Mormons are 8x more likely participate in neighborhood watches and other local community nonprofit associations.

There are more Mormon political representatives across the country proportionate to church membership than any other religion. Mormons comprise a sizable percentage of the CIA. Mormons are consistently the one of the largest percentages white, male inductees in the National Guard and military Reserves. In fact, Mormons are disproportionately found in all branches of government and public service.

But, faithful Mormons don't hang-out in coffee shops. Faithful Mormons don't take smoking breaks. Faithful Mormons don't go to strip joints. Faithful Mormons don't drink and so don't go to bars, most night clubs, cocktail parties, or "get a drink after work."

Quite frankly, when you're married with children, are volunteering, serving as a lay minister, being politically active, going to college part to full-time, and working full-time, you just don't have a lot of time for much of a social life. If faithful Mormons seem insular it's because we've intuitively had to learn to prioritize, develop time management skills, develop on-the-fly cost benefit analysis, multi-tasking abilities, and organizational management. In fact, all of that is just plain tiring.

I'm sorry if we seem insular, we're just really busy people, but we'd otherwise really enjoy the opportunity to sit down, relax and chat with someone friendly--just like anybody else.

Posted by: robertrkohutek.kohutekcomet | January 19, 2008 6:45 PM

What a tribute to Mitt Romney. Despite ALL of the trivial negative press about him he has now won 3 primaries and come in 2nd in the others. I was at the Massachusetts Republican Convention when we nominated him for Governor and he is far and away the best candidate on either side in this race.

Just the fact that he has been able to overcome all the Liberal negative press is a huge testiment to his strength and determination. He WILL be the next President of the United States!!!

Posted by: mrunpc | January 19, 2008 6:36 PM


The Democrat controlled liberal Media machine is doing all it can to choose IT'S "favorite" GOP candidate, which means ANYONE but Mitt Romney. This is how Mike Huckabee was elevated to frontrunner status in IA, emerging from obscurity in a matter of a few weeks. There were nothing but puff pieces/articles/stories and absolutely NO scrutiny of his mediocre, often liberal, voting record as AR Governor. As a result, and much to the joy of the liberals, IA voters were convinced that Mr. Huckabee should be their choice...NOT as President but as Pastor of the United States. Mike Huckabee is, by far, the weakest and least qualified GOP candidate and the easiest to beat and the Liberals are salivating at the prospect of his winning the nomination. Now that they're done with the Huckster, it's McCain's turn.

John McCain is nothing more than a RINO (Republican In Name Only). He's been in the Senate forever and is an entrenced "good ol' boy". He is a big supporter of numerous liberal bills, including the requirement of much tighter auto emissions standards, costing auto manufacturers (and us consumers) BILLIONS.

The McCain domestic record is a disaster. To say he fought spending, most particularly earmarks, is to nibble around the edges and miss the heart of the matter. For starters, consider:

McCain-Feingold -- the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo.

McCain-Kennedy -- the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.

McCain-Lieberman -- the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry -- through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases -- in American history.

McCain-Kennedy-Edwards -- the biggest boon to the trial bar since the tobacco settlement, under the rubric of a patients' bill of rights.

McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs -- a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety (hey Rudy, pay attention, see link).

And McCain's stated opposition to the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts was largely based on socialist, class-warfare rhetoric -- tax cuts for the rich, not for the middle class. The public record is full of these statements. Today, he recalls only his insistence on accompanying spending cuts.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, McCain was consistently hostile to American enterprise, from media and pharmaceutical companies to technology and energy companies.

McCain also led the Gang of 14, which prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

And then there's the McCain defense record.
His supporters point to essentially one policy strength, McCain's early support for a surge and counterinsurgency. It has now evolved into McCain taking credit for forcing the president to adopt General David Petreaus's strategy. Where's the evidence to support such a claim?
Moreover, Iraq is an important battle in our war against the Islamo-fascist threat. But the war is a global war, and it most certainly includes the continental United States, which, after all, was struck on 9/11. How does
McCain fare in that regard?

McCain-ACLU -- the unprecedented granting of due-process rights to unlawful enemy combatants (terrorists). McCain has repeatedly called for the immediate closing of Guantanamo Bay and the introduction of al-Qaeda terrorists into our own prisons -- despite the legal rights they would immediately gain and the burdens of managing such a dangerous population.

While McCain proudly and repeatedly points to his battles with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had to rebuild the U.S. military and fight a complex war, where was McCain in the lead-up to the war -- when the military was being dangerously downsized by the Clinton administration and McCain's friend, former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen? Where was McCain when the CIA was in desperate need of attention? Also, McCain was apparently in the dark about al-Qaeda like most of Washington, despite a decade of warnings.

Mitt Romney is by far the most qualified man in EITHER party and is a class act all the way. And yet since he became a GOP candidate for president, I have seen nothing but negative, trivial articles/stories about his Mormon religion, his money, his slick appearance, etc. fully intended to sway a naive electorate that pays far too little attention to the most important 4 year event in our country.

Mitt Romney is a TRUE family man and very successful at turning failed or failing enterprises around and Lord knows the United States of America needs turning around. It should be run as a business first, with a strong military to protect it from harm. All other social, giveaway programs should be scrutinized (and certainly would be under a Romney presidency) as to efficiency and even necessity. The fact that he was even elected Governor in a state (MA) controlled by 85% Democrat legislature was a feat in itself. In spite of it, he did a very admirable job as Governor, turning a large state deficit into a surplus. Of course, his many justified vetoes were constantly overturned by those liberal Democrats which made for a lot of frustration.

If Mitt Romney does get the GOP nomination it will be MUCH to the chagrin of the Democrat National Committee liberal propaganda machine because he will be their worst nightmare and most difficult to defeat...Obama, Clinton, or otherwise.

Posted by: mrunpc | January 19, 2008 6:31 PM

Okay, here's some information about Romney: Check it out and you'll see why Romney has gone from Ron Paul numbers in every state he has campaigned in to respectable numbers. He is doing well and that is because he is the best candidate by far. McCain is too old, a flipflopper, and two talking points: the surge and amnesty. Huckabee has one talking point: I am a Christian.

Posted by: madjayhawk | January 19, 2008 6:25 PM

I'm roman catholic and am sick and tired of hearing how Romney won due to the Mormon vote. Look at the numbers. Romney won by well over 10,000 votes and supposedly only 25% of his votes were Mormon. Does it really matter if he had 52% or 39% when his nearest competitor is sitting at 13%? I really doubt it.

Posted by: m_schonviesner | January 19, 2008 5:43 PM

I am so tired of the religion issue but if the press wants us religious people to open a can on their journalist butts they should continue expressing their seething contempt for people of religion. We should all come together as people of religion and encourage our children to infiltrate the ranks of the press just like the communists did back in the 50's. Maybe if we did this we could get them to end their insidious attacks and maybe we could get some real news.

Posted by: camdryg | January 19, 2008 5:36 PM

We are insular I agree but we had our reasons for this. The Jewish community is very insular as well and note the anti semitism. I agree though that americans can vote however they damn well please even evangelicals who got crap for voting for Huckabee and not Romney wah wah that is majority rule which I happen to agree with. If some group wants recognition in this country they better start reproducing like the latinos and the mormons and the evangelicals. This combination, politically could end the Dems because Mormons Mexicans and Evangelicals or people of religion in general are seeing booming growth. Whereas liberals/socialist communists want to stop people from over populating. I would like to see things stay friendly between people of religion because we all have a common foe the democrats and their potential nominees for the supreme court bench.

Posted by: camdryg | January 19, 2008 5:29 PM


Dude, think about what you are saying. Harry Reid, an active Mormon, is the Majority Leader in the US Senate. He is from Nevada. If the chain calling is going around, do you think he would be unaware of it, or condone it? You just need to relax a bit.

Posted by: schulzke | January 19, 2008 5:21 PM

I will tell you the real story. If Mitt Romney wasn't raked over the coals for his religion you would not have had such galvanized support from his base. I personally was going with Guiliani until Huck started making veiled attacks which I recognize from having debated with certain hostile leaders and members of various evangelical churches for two years in Brazil. The comment "Say don't mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers" really stirred up the mormon hornet nest. Another anti mormon person is McCains mother who dissed on mormons bad. Mormons keep tabs on who talks smack. Mormons are the only people in the United States to be killed for their religion. Governor Boggs of Missouri signed an extermination order and to this day "mormons" are careful not to help anyone who is even remotely hostile to their religion. I voted for Bush who is an example of a non hostile evangelical when it comes to mormons.

Posted by: camdryg | January 19, 2008 5:17 PM

I don't see why it's ok for people to vote for Romney because he's a Mormon and it's not ok for people to NOT vote for Romney because he's Mormon. Doesn't that seem unfair? Americans can vote for whoever they want for whatever reason they want.

The fact of the matter is that Mormons seem very insular and a lot of people are not comfortable with that. It's nothing personal, that's just our reason for not voting for him.

Posted by: anhall80 | January 19, 2008 5:16 PM

Governor Romney's Economic Stimulus Plan - Washington Must Act Now:

Governor Romney's Economic Stimulus Plan Would Provide Much-Needed Relief To Taxpayers, Businesses And Homeowners. Today, our economy is facing unprecedented challenges both here at home and abroad. Our economy needs pro-growth stimulus, but Governor Romney believes any stimulus package should return money to American taxpayers, not increase already out-of-control government spending. To promote economic growth, Governor Romney is proposing an economic stimulus plan that would lower taxes on individuals, reduce taxes for businesses and help homeowners through the current housing crisis.

- Individuals: Governor Romney would permanently reduce the lowest income tax bracket, permanently eliminate payroll taxes on seniors and make middle-class savings tax free.

- Businesses: Governor Romney would institute immediate 100% expensing of equipment for two years and permanently reduce the corporate tax rate.

- Homeowners: Governor Romney would reform and expand Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan portfolio limits to allow larger loans to homeowners.

Governor Romney Urges Our Leaders To Work Together And Immediately Debate, Pass And Sign A Stimulus Package For The American People. If our representatives in Washington can work together and demonstrate the leadership that the American people deserve, Governor Romney is optimistic that we can still turn this economy around. Washington must get to work immediately and pass a bill no later than February 19, a month from today, in order to stimulate our economy.

Details... _1.19

Posted by: hallamb2001 | January 19, 2008 5:04 PM

This article stinks of bias left wing bigotry. Washington post should act in a more responsible manner when reporting the news. Here is the title:

Mormons, Party Regulars Fuel Romney Success

Would they make a title like this:

Blacks, Party Regulars Fuel Obamas Success

I am Mormon and live in Utah. I know many people that are not voting for Romney. Just because your Mormon does not mean you are an automatic vote. Drop the talk about him being a Mormon and vote for the best person for the job.

Posted by: bobpeterson_71 | January 19, 2008 5:00 PM

DualAg with respect, I think you must be mistaken about a "priesthood" phone tree. I have been a member my whole life I have never heard of anything like that. It is in fact against the interests of the church to use the church for political purposes. The church did issue a statement against lotteries. You must be remembering the very public statement. Or misremembering who your wife said the phone call was from. I guarentee that Mitt Romney does not have offical church support. Although I do think he represents the political positions of many in the church.

Posted by: Mypostid7 | January 19, 2008 4:52 PM

I am bothered by the way the media is reporting Romney's win in Nevada. They attributed his first place finish to the "sizable Mormon population", when in truth exit polls say that Mormon's comprised 27% of the vote. The margin was so wide between first and second place that if ALL the Mormons stayed home Romney still would have won by 7% over the other candidates. It's intellectual dishonestly to attribute his win to the Mormon population.

Posted by: PiousPolly | January 19, 2008 4:46 PM

I'm disappointed that the Washington Post would write this kind of garbage. If you took the 25% Mormon vote out of the equation, Romney would have 55-25 or 30, to 15 for McCain, or a 2 to 1 margin of victory. This is a huge margin for a guy competing against the nationally famous, long serving Senator from the neighboring state.

Posted by: ccg100 | January 19, 2008 4:28 PM

Informal Priesthood Tree...
Are totally nuts. You can even get LDS men to phone in their home teaching (if they did it)let alone organize a phone tree and actually make the call.

Anit-mormons might be the stupidest people on earth. They'll make up anything to vent their vicious hatred. Of course there are those who simply don't believe as Mormons do and that is respectful and just fine. I don't care. But "anti" anything is stupid.

Live and let live.

Posted by: RockOn | January 19, 2008 4:26 PM


The LDS church has never shied away from promoting items on the ballot that are what the church sonsiders a moral issue. That is very different from voting for a candidate. Most ward leaders (I am one) will not even mention a candidate by name to avoid even the appearance of supporting a candidate because we prefer to keep the integrity of the church intact by following it's established policies. It just wouldn't be right. Wish that were the case in other faiths.

Posted by: r-h-a | January 19, 2008 4:08 PM

I was raised LDS and was very active in the church up to about 4 years ago. The close knit community is an excellent network for non-religious endeavors from politics to business. I would encourage LDS voters and all voters to consider the issues and not just vote blindly. I know plenty of LDS people I wouldn't vote for. I would also tell Christians that Romney's LDS beliefs likely align his political ideals very closely with the conservative agenda and his being Mormon shouldn't be frowned upon.

Posted by: superscout | January 19, 2008 4:05 PM

I am active LDS (Mormon)...I wouldn't attribute Romney's result to any particular organized effort from the church, but rather two facts:

- members are very much encouraged to vote and be active in the process (although not told, either explicitly or implied, who to support)


- Romney shares their values, so they are certainly comfortable with him

Posted by: jknowlton525 | January 19, 2008 4:02 PM

Who do you think Mormons have been voting for in elections past? Conservative candidates! What a novel idea! Now they have a conservative candidate in Mitt Romney. Makes sense to me.

Posted by: cld9 | January 19, 2008 3:59 PM

I hope people also understand that Brigham Young organized over 300 cities throughout West including: San Diego, CA; Phoenix/Mesa, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Boise, ID; Grand Junction, CO; among others as far North as Cardston, Alberta, Canada and some colonies in Mexico. The original boundaries of the State of Deseret were larger than the current state of Alaska before Congress whittled it down to the state boundaries of what Utah is today.

Posted by: ceo1 | January 19, 2008 3:51 PM

Ron Paul is better and different from all of those candidates. I think he's very brave and very smart. He's got my support just because none of the candidates like him at all, but I see why they don't like him. He, he, he.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | January 19, 2008 3:51 PM

True Show,

Of course the LDS Church maintains political neutrality--on the surface. Any endorsement of a candidate or political party would endanger its tax exempt status. It's also quite a practical stance. You don't want to position yourself as having backed the wrong horse.

I question what goes on beneath the First Presidency level. In 1987, the Colorado state legislature debated the issue of a state lottery. My wife, a member of her local ward, received a call from someone who identified himself as a representative of the "priesthood calling chain." He urged us to contact our state representatives, not to identify ourselves as Mormons, but to oppose the lottery. Conversation with others at church later revealed he was working off a ward list.

Mormon activism was the final nail in the coffin of the Equal Rights Amendment. In California in the mid 1990s, bishops assessed dollar amounts from priesthood holders for donation to the anti-same sex marriage ballot measure.

Mormons follow the letter of the law with regard to official endorsement of candidates, but the record of below-the-surface activity reveals tremendous organizational efficiency for which the church is well known.

Posted by: DualAg | January 19, 2008 3:50 PM

DualAg, I'm a Latter-day Saint and a Ph.D. Candidate in PoliSci and will be voting for Romney because he's simply the best GOP candidate, period. No informal "priesthood" calling tree has or will influence my opinion, if one even existed. The only reason Mormons tend to vote alike is because believe in traditional biblical values, and we actually know our neighbors and we like to talk politics with them.

Posted by: robertrkohutek.kohutekcomet | January 19, 2008 3:46 PM

The LDS church itself doesn't stand to gain much from a President Romney. They're already fabulously wealthy and the extra scrutiny for the church would only be negative, as all groups associated with a president are. I don't think it was encouraged from the top down, that just doesn't serve their interests. But there's no doubt that Mormons identify with Mitt Romney and want to support him, that makes sense; every group votes for the candidate that they identify with most. The LDS Church does encourage being active politically, and they have a history of voting as a bloc. Romney will do well in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, maybe even Arizona as well because of this. But in the rest of the country he's on his own merits.

Posted by: stubbazubba | January 19, 2008 3:32 PM


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints continues to maintain political neutrality. The fact that Nevada has a large Mormon population and many of them voted for Governor Romney is due to several factors. Please stop spreading baseless rumors about Mormons, it gets tiring.

Posted by: the_true_show | January 19, 2008 3:32 PM

I wonder how actively the informal "priesthood calling chain" of the LDS church encouraged the Romney turnout. The Mormon hierarchy publicly disavows a preference for president, but that doesn't reflect what happens in a church with centralized leadership and very organized membership accounting.

Posted by: DualAg | January 19, 2008 3:17 PM

With economics views like this:

No wonder Ron Paul appears to be headed for 2nd place in Nevada! (still close between McCain and him)

Posted by: davidmwe | January 19, 2008 2:19 PM

I am registered Independent here in California, but the GOP does not allow Independents to vote in their primary this year -- I will be voting for Obama instead -- hopefully, I will be voting for Romney in the general election ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2008 2:19 PM

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