Mitt Romney is a Mormon.
He and his campaign doesn’t want to talk about it – citing Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, which states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Political opponents – and even the media sometimes – don’t like to talk about it because it’s politically incorrect.
Still, Romney – despite his other qualifications – will face a disadvantage because he’s Mormon.
In a Gallup poll conducted in 2007, 24 percent of respondents said they would not vote for a Mormon. Below is the breakdown:
Would not vote for (%)
Thrice Married 30
Older than 72 years 42
Besides facing the discrimination for being Mormon, Romney has another disadvantage: not talking about his religion at all.
Historically, one of the key advantages of Republicans is their success in courting Christians. Republicans are pro-life and against gay marriages, positions that give them a fundamental advantage in the eyes of Christians.
In the 2004 presidential race, some Catholic priests even told their parishioners to vote for Bush because of Kerry's pro-choice stance, even though Kerry himself is Catholic and Catholics historically vote for Democrats.
Republican candidates often build on top of this inherent advantage by speaking out about their faith and about God. In doing so, they capture an outsized portion of the Christian vote.
Romney is already disadvantage due to his moderate, wishy-washy, and flip-flopping attitude towards gay marriage and abortion. If he also doesn’t talk about God, he’ll look even worse.
Obama and Romney’s Republican primary competitors, on the other hand, will have no problem talking about their faith and God.