The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been running a new ad campaign aimed at combatting what it calls its “perception problem.” It features the personal stories of church members who defy the common Mormon stereotypes, such as a Hawaiian longboard surfing champion, a fashion designer and a single father in New York City.
With the candidacies of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, the Church is sensitive to perceptions that it’s trying to affect politics. As a result, the campaign is not running in the early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. The Church even pulled the ads from Nevada, which had debated holding its caucuses on January 14th.
However, the ad campaign isn’t being pulled from major swing states. They are being run in Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
Combating the “perception problem” isn’t just a problem for the Church, but for Gov. Romney as well. Polls taken during the last presidential race showed that 40% Americans said they would not not vote for a Mormon. While that number has fallen slightly, it’s still high enough to be a major concern.