Thursday, April 12, 2007

GOP losing support in Utah (the Romney effect)?

Interesting Point:

GOP losing support in Utah (the Romney effect)

Jonathan Singer over at MyDD notes that in Utah, the Republican dominance (once over 50 percent in voter identification) is beginning to show some cracks. Maybe Utah Republicans are beginning to realize that all those questions about Mitt Romney's religion are coming from a very real place in Republican culture.

The most dominant religion in the South and the most dominant social movement in modern Republicanism can hardly bring itself to respect Mormons.

I'd be a little turned off too if I heard about the damaging effects my religion is having on a front running presidential candidate.

It should be noted that no one questioned whether anyone in the Democratic Party would accept a Mormon leader in the Senate.

Religion matters in the Republican Party because it matters what religion you belong to. In the Democratic Party, religion doesn't matter in the sense that your religion is between you, God, and your community of faith and shouldn't be a political matter.

3 comments:

Tom Grover said...

Captain,

This one is going to be really interesting to watch. There are many on the national scale who view Utah Republican Mormons as so few in number as to justify cannabalism in order to elect someone other than Romney. The magnitude of this effect upon Utah Republican Mormons will depend on how far Romney's campaign lasts in the primary. The longer it lasts, the bigger the problem you note becomes.

Of course, the GOP could do itself a huge favor and start to define itself again by limited government (crazy thought, I know) instead of the Party of Jesus.

But then again I'm a delusional libertarian Republican.

Mark E. Towner said...

Tom,

The double standard is very troubling. My concern for the GOP and the RRR is the same many have in the DEM's with the LWW. Having been raised in Seattle, and 10 years in Alaska taught me to be more accepting of other peoples faith, or non faith as the case may be. Good post....


The Captain

Anonymous said...

I agree with the concern. When I was a Hinckley Institute intern during the 1972 elections in Utah, the two parties were still fully competitive for support among Mormons, but the McGovern supporters radicalized the Democrats and gradually lost support among many Mormons, and the anti-Mormon/anti-religious element in the Democrats in Utah appears to have made it even harder for Mormons to be Democrats.

If it turns out that Romney loses the nomination, and it is perceived that a decisive reason was the rejection by many GOPers of ALL Mormons, no matter how smart or capable or conservative otherwise, it will greatly disillusion Mormons who will now see themselves as second class citizens in the GOP. "You can donate money and time and votes, but don't you dare run for President." Many will sit out the elections, and others will become Democrats or vote for Democrats out of a sense of betrayal, to teach Republicans a lesson. It could mean not only a loss of Republican dominance in Utah, but also in states like Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and even California. The fact is that candidates from both parties target much of the middle, on purpose, so small numbers of voters shifting can change elections. Giving the "one finger salute" to Mormons could shift enough states' electoral votes in the West to deny victory to the non-Romney nominee for president, and also destroy any chance for Republicans to take back the House or Senate. And many ex-Republican Mormons will say the Republican Party deserved it. Ironically, by throwing Utah into the Up for Grabs column, it could increase the competition between the national parties for Utah votes and actually benefit the State on national issues.