Eighteen percent of Americans say they would not support a well-qualified presidential candidate who is Mormon, according to a new poll from Gallup released Thursday.
That level of discrimination facing Mitt Romney, a former Mormon bishop, is virtually the same as it was when his father was preparing a presidential bid of his own. Seventeen percent held a prejudice against Mormon presidential candidates in 1967. George Romney, the late former governor of Michigan and father of the presumptive Republican nominee, ran for president in 1968.
The exact percentage of Americans who resist the idea of voting for a Mormon has varied slightly over the eight times Gallup has asked the question, typically when a Mormon was running for president, including George Romney (1968 campaign), Orrin Hatch (2000 campaign), and Mitt Romney (2008 and 2012 campaigns). The percentage opposed to a Mormon president has averaged 19% since 1967 -- from a low of 17% at several points to a high of 24% in 2007. The current 18% is down from 22% a year ago.