The election is turning its focus towards Mitt Romney and President Obama. Way back in ought-eleven, I made the prediction that Obama would win the Presidency. One of the biggest reasons I identified was:
I just don’t believe that Romney can galvanize the Right in the way he needs to win. It all boils down to two issues: (1) There is a small percentage of the Conservative base that will not vote for a “non-Christian.” And make no mistake about it (2) among many evangelicals, Mormonism is not Christianity.
Specifically, I argued that a small portion of the GOP base – maybe 5-10% of the GOP – would not and could not vote for a Mormon. With Santorum still in the race, this side of the race was largely hidden – those that held those views simply supported Santorum. Now that Santorum is out and Romney effectively the nominee, we will begin to see if this part of my prediction holds true.
The first signs are beginning. The source of this is a left-wing blog, so it may or may not be the most reliable source for GOP politics, but it appears to be an accurate depiction of the statements made by Brian Fischer – head of the American Family Association and host of a radio show.
The reality is that there are just a number of Evangelicals that just will not vote for Romney because they do not want to put somebody who believes in a different god in the White House, which is perfectly understandable. He’s a spiritually compromised candidate; that’s the only way to put it. If he goes into the Oval Office, he will be the first polytheist that we’ve ever had as a president. Mitt Romney would be the first non-Christian president that we’ve ever had; the first president that we’ve ever had that did not emerge from a stream of historic Christian orthodoxy.
So this would be unprecedented, and it would be unprecedented spiritually. You remember the prophets, this is one of the things that they were toughest on the kings about is departing the worship of the true and living God for alternative gods. This was something that weakened a nation and so we’re looking at that, if Mitt Romney becomes the president, we have a spiritually-compromised president who will be the first polytheist to ever hold the Oval Office, the first president who has ever believed in a multiplicity of gods, the first president who has ever believe that man can become a god, and that God didn’t used to be God, he used to be a man who progressed to godhood. So this would be completely uncharted waters for America.
I have no idea how many people listen to Brian Fischer, and how many will change their vote as a result, but if it’s any sizable number at all, this is the beginning of a dangerous trend for Gov. Romney – every single vote he loses because of this issue comes straight out of his bottom line. Candidates count on getting 40% of the overall vote, just based on their party affiliation – the real battle is over the 20% of swing voters in the middle and on getting your 40% to the polls. If Romney’s religion loses him a couple percentage points of the “safe” 40%, he has to make all of that up in the swing voters in the middle – a much more difficult proposition.
For the record, I think not voting for someone because they’re a Mormon is a silly, silly idea. While their beliefs differ from mine, I see no way that it would negatively influence the way a given Mormon would govern. There are plenty of reasons not to vote for any given candidate – their religion should not be one of them.