Friday, November 24, 2006

Could a Mormon be elected President?

This seems to be a hot topic over at National Review Online right now with Mitt Romney as one of the "Big Three" for the GOP nomination. The main question is: Will conservatives vote for a Mormon? Now, depending on what you mean by conservative the question is up in the air. Generally there are two types of conservatives out there: 1) fiscal and/or 2) social. Now of the two types, I would say fiscal conservatives outnumber social conservatives. I believe all conservatives want a balanced budget, less spending, less taxes, and generally smaller gov't in size. Now most social conservatives I believe are fiscal as well but not as many fiscal conservatives are social conservatives. What is interesting about this is that Mitt Romney is aligned fairly strongly with social conservatives based on his values as a Mormon. The ironic thing about this is that despite being a social conservative, I believe more of Romney's support will come from fiscal conservatives (even though I am personally suspicious that Romney is a Big Govt Conservative). The reason for this is that many social conservatives are also Evangelical Christians. Mormons and Evangelical Christians have similar values but the latter distance themselves from Mormons based on the LDS' extra-Biblical teaching. This may not rub a soley fiscal conservative the wrong way but it could be hard for Romney to pick up the Evangelical vote precisely because of this. What could also very well hurt Romney is coverage by the media were he to win the GOP nomination. The media already picks on Christianity enough as it is, it will be interesting to see how the press reacts to the more quirky Mormonism (do your due diligence and you will know what I am talking about). Bottom line: I think Romney is a solid politician but like his other two front-runners, seems to face obvious challenges uniting the Conservative base. I would look for a dark horse candidate to make a run late (not necessarily Newt but Newt's ideas will set the campaign dialogue/debate).

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