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Evangelicals for Mitt

There's a new group blog (Tom Bevan mentions it below), Evangelicals for Mitt.

The main activity right now seems to be closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears, rocking back and forth, and murmuring over and over: "There is no Mormon problem ... There is no Mormon problem."

Sorry. Sorry. Just poking a little fun. (I'm not without my own '08 obsessions.)

The folks over at Evangelicals for Mitt have taken issue with Tom's discussion of the Los Angeles Times poll indicating that some 37 percent of Americans say they wouldn't vote for a Mormon for president.

There are some reasons for Mitt-ers (what to call Romney supporters ... McCain has McCainiacs ... ) to be not overly discouraged. A lot of the people who wouldn't vote for a Mormon are liberal Democrats, so that at least won't hurt Romney in a primary. The question was an abstract hypothetical, meaning that it takes no account of how voters will feel about a given Mormon candidate once they get to know him. And Evangelicals may just be completely cool-headed voters who will evaluate all candidates on the issues and decide Romney's the best (though, if they're just looking at issues, I wonder why McCain wouldn't walk away with their votes ... oh, yeah, that emotion thing ... ).

However, while 50 percent of liberal Democrats say they wouldn't vote for a Mormon, a full 35 percent of conservative Republicans and 33 percent of moderate Republicans say they wouldn't either. So, it's not as if the problem is all on the Left (where the objection to Mormons seems to be that they have a reputation as ultra-conservative, not that their religion is "weird"). And, when I talk to people in the South, the response to Romney I invariably get is, "Well, he's gonna have to explain that Mormon thing. I don't know what that is."

I think he can explain it and that Evangelicals can and will get over it. But the problem is he'll be doing the opposite of what Kennedy did. Instead of saying, "my religion won't affect how I govern," he'll be saying, "I'm a devout Christian and believe in Jesus." He may sway the Right with that. But will it create even more problems on the Left?