Two reactions re: the miffed Mormons post below: Lots of readers think it’s just plain old nonsense that a Mormon backlash could translate into a loss of Utah or anything of the sort. For example:
Your reader concludes “thus putting Utah up for grabs in the presidential election.” Is he serious? The state that went 71.5% for Bush in 2004 will be in play come 2008? C’mon!
Yeah, right. George Bush took 72% of the vote in Utah in 2004, the largest share of any state in the nation. Utah hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson. It’s a conservative state, and it elects the more conservative presidential candidate. If the Republican nominee loses Utah in 2008, I’ll eat my shoe.
But, at the same time, lots of Mormon readers echo the frustration. For instance:
I agree! I have sat back and watched all of the garbage being heaped on my Faith and thought “These people will defend us at some point.” It’s not happening. I have voted reliably Republican for every election since I was 21 year old. I live in Coloroado Springs, Colorado and was happy when we started to attract masses of born again evangelical associations. I thought that we had so much in common that I would, of course, be welcomed into the midst of their social society. Guess again. These are people that pass out anti-Morman pamphlets in their meetings and teach their members how to put down the Mormon faith. I would have thought this impossible but after 15 years of living with this phenomen, I know that it is true. These people will not vote for this good man. Not because he is not the best person for the job, but simply because they are afraid of his religion. I am ready for a 3rd party run myself.
I have wanted to say something along the same lines for a while. However, I don’t want a Mitt Romney loss to be construed as evidence of anti-Mormonism. He can still lose on the merits. John McCain is a viable alternative in my opinion. Others not so much, but that’s a subject for another day. The problem I have had is coming up with a reason why anyone should care whether Latter-day Saints stick with the Republican Party or not, other than common decency. The loss of Utah to the Democrats is not that great, even if it were to occur. I just don’t see how Mormons taking our marbles and going home is a real threat to the political atmosphere, at least not immediately. I do believe it would have long-term effects. The chief of these would be the shaving off of one more part of the old Reagan coalition that got Republicans elected. I view it as a part of a broader problem for the Republican Party as the tent shrinks rather than expands, which I’d rather not see.