The Atlantic’s Molly Ball pushes back on the notion that Mitt Romney won Nevada in 2008 (and is the favorite to win it again this cycle) because of the state’s unusually high Mormon population:
It’s commonly assumed that Romney won Nevada because of all the Mormons. The Mormons — and the Romney people — hate that assumption, which they consider an ignorant myth.
They have a point: According to the exit polls, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made up a quarter of 2008 Nevada caucus-goers and half of Romney’s total votes. Had all the Mormons stayed home, Romney still would have gotten the most votes.
But Romney’s LDS support is significant, and the prevalence of Mormons in Nevada also means non-Mormons have a higher comfort level here with the faith and its adherents. Many at Monday’s rally said they were powerfully offended when a Texas pastor supporting Rick Perry called Mormonism a non-Christian cult.