Former President George W. Bush outperformed Mitt Romney, the first Mormon to represent a major party, among Mormon voters nationwide, according to new poll.
In 2004, the divisive ex-president amassed 80 percent of the Mormon vote while Romney pulled in 78 percent in 2012,according to a new poll from the Pew Forum On Religious and Public Life, the Salt Lake Tribune said. (Pew says exit polling data for Mormons was not available in 2000 and 2008.)
Mark DeMoss, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign and its unofficial outreach guru to evangelical voters, said he wasn’t surprised that Romney didn’t capture a higher number of his own faith because not all Mormons are monolithic in their politics.
"I had a conversation with Mitt Romney soon after I met him back in ’06, and he said, ‘You know what, there are Mormons I wouldn’t vote for and there are Mormons who wouldn’t vote for me,’ " DeMoss said, quoting Romney, and adding there are Latter-day Saints who would more align with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a devout Mormon and Democrat.
That's not to say Mormons weren't in Romney's corner this election. Pew points out that 78 percent means nearly 8 in 10 Mormons voted for Romney, while only 2 in 10 voted for Obama, U.S. News & World Report said.
Some of the turnout problems that plagued Romney across the board were also evident in the religious survey. The number of white Protestant voters was down three percentage points from 2008, while the number of Catholics who voted was down two percentage points. Non-evangelical Christians were also down three percentage points, the Hill reported.
Romney's faith was an on-again, off-again issue throughout the campaign, with Republicans initially worried it could hurt the GOP nominee's electability. Many Christians believe Mormonism is not a part of mainstream Christianity, but a cult.
But as the campaign progressed, the other issues seemed to overtake it.
If elected, Romney would have been the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as president.