Soon there will be two Mormons running for president if Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, follows through on his plans to join former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican nomination. We look forward to hearing more from them but otherwise would note only that they seem to meet the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution: They are both natural-born citizens over 35 years old who have resided in the United States for at least 14 years.
Yet according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center on People, Politics and the Press, 25 percent of Americans say that they are less likely to vote for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These results are consistent with other polls stretching back more than four decades. The public’s relative reluctance to judge Mormon candidates as individuals contrasts to progress in attitudes toward other characteristics: According to Pew, only 3 percent of Americans would oppose a black candidate, and 7 percent would object to a woman. Since 2007, willingness to vote for a gay candidate has risen from 51 percent to 62 percent.