Help from above for Romney?

January 20, 2008

Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign eventJACKSONVILLE, Florida – Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney felt he may have had a little extra help when answering a reporter’s question on one of the most delicate subjects of his campaign — his Mormon faith.

Asked for his view on the influence of religion on the race for the White House after Mormon voters turned out in force in Saturday’s Nevada nomination contest that he won, he replied, “I’ll let other people take a look at those things.”

A loud thunder clap interrupted his next sentence.
“Wow,” he said, looking up. “Maybe HE wants to say something.”

He said exit poll numbers showed that he would have won in Nevada even without Mormon support.

“There will always be some people whose vote will be shaped by the faith of the candidate. I don’t think that is the majority of the people,” he said. “That’s just part of the American experience.”

About 170,000 people in Nevada, or 6.8 percent of its population, are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the formal name of the Mormon religion headquartered in neighboring Utah.

Television networks reported that voter surveys at polls in Nevada showed that Mormons made up 26 percent of those attending Republican caucuses, with 95 percent of them voting for Romney, who won 51 percent of the total Republican vote.

“If not a single Mormon had turned out, Mitt Romney would have still won the caucuses in that state,” said Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

– Photo credit: REUTERS/Mark Wallhesier. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the start of his Florida swing in Jacksonville January 19, 2008, after winning the Nevada primary.

(Corrects spelling of Mormon in 6th paragraph)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

6.8% of the Nevada population is Mormon? This is all? I thought Nevada was full of casinos, not Mormons, but from the news coverage you woulda thot it was overun by Mormons voting for Mitt Romney. Let’s think a little deeper, news people.

Posted by Liz | Report as abusive

Congrats to Romney on a BIG win! It is looking like the media attention will also overshadow McCain’s far more narrow victory in South Carolina, in part thanks to Clinton’s simultaneous close win in NV over Obama, but also because of the shear margin of victory! Romney scored nearly four votes to every one of his next closest competitor, who was not John McCain. Romney also gets more delegates for the day.

McCain, meanwhile, managed to beat Huckabee by a mere three percentage points in SC, the closest match of the election season, with Romney hardly running in the state, further reducing the win’s credibility, though I do not wish to take it from him.

Congrats to everyone today, even Duncan Hunter, who pulled out finally after a disappointing finish in Nevada. He outlasted our dear friend Tancredo, and half the race, perhaps, is running.

Posted by Jed Merrill, | Report as abusive

There is a total of 5 million mormons throughout the entire US…..most of which are in Utah. It doesn’t look like Mitt Romney is going to gain a huge benefit from his faith affilition……………..nothing in comparison to the tens of millions of evangelicals Huckabee is leveraging.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

wow…..even without the faith vote, Romney took first place.


Posted by James | Report as abusive

The way Mitt Romney is running his campaign is ingenious. I am an avid chess-player and I am stuck to the tube and blogs to see how this will play out. Romney is destroying the old corrupt political system which plays out every four years for as long as we all can remember. Presidential candidates were ultimately decided by cloak-room politicians predetermining the win by selecting the early contest states that must be won for a winner to emerge. Some may say Romney is cheating by not playing “fair” by the old school rules; however, he is simply playing the cards in his favor. He is running his campaign in all 50 states giving the people of every state a voice in electing their next Presidential candidate. This is Democracy at it’s finest. I love it! I have heard too often people complain how they never even got to vote for their candidate because of the way the caucases are set up. It’s brilliant and amazingly enough it appears to be working. Romney is winning by a large margin. No wonder Romney is so respected. He is always taking such innovative approaches to everything he does.

In my own opinion, I really hope Floridians give Mitt Romney a chance.

We are headed for an all out recession, far worse than we saw in the 80’s because of the housing and loan scandals due to scandalous lenient lending practices since 2003.

There are only about .000001% of Americans as qualified as Mitt Romney to lead the American Corporation to economic prosperity (one of them is Warren Buffet but he’s not on the ballot).

Mitt Romney is the only candidate the media takes seriously. When they ask him what he would do to turn the nation around they don’t expect sound-bites, because they know he has the answers. Even Jim Kramer respects him enough to bring him on his show and ask those tough questions. People that are really knowledgeable all respect the guy. Do you know who really was behind the surge in Iraq plan? It came from the Generals fighting the war in Iraq. We had so many problems with the war because Donald Rumsfeld was trying to micro-manage the war. Romney knows business-101. He knows that you never micro-manage anything. You bring the best qualified people together (which would include mostly the military Generals of course) and chart a course and get the job done, and he has a very strong record that backs it up.

I see great times ahead with that kind of leadership, the roaring 90’s all over again but better because of no bubble at the end due to improper management of our economy. Being an average American, I have already pledged my money to his campaign, and I know that was the best investment I made in my life.

We don’t have to concede to China to overtake us and replace us as the world super-power in 10 years. We can vote Romney for President!!!

Posted by Warren Buffet | Report as abusive

James, you are wrong. There are more Mormons in California than there are in Utah.

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

Mormonism, like all cults, CHANGE their belief system to fit the mold. Mitt Romney, like all politicians, CHANGE positions in order to fit the mold. Mitt Romney: A candidate for CHANGE

Posted by Kenneth Micael Daugherty | Report as abusive

I think Mitt Romney is the best qualified candidate to lead this country. He will bring this country in the right direction. He can beat any of the democratic canidates. I like that he is pro-life and that the liberal media hates him. You can always tell who is the right candidate by who the media tries to hammer. Forget about Mccain and Huckabee, they are false prophets in this race. The true conservatives who make this country great are too smart not to see the truth.
This country has to get back to the basic princples that made us so great.
1st-We are one nation under God.
2nd-That we are all created equal.
3rd-The rights that are given to us —come from God —not the goverment—for some reason mot polticians fail to realize this.
4th–The goverment must allow freedom and liberty to all.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

Removing the Mormon vote, Romney still won Nevada with 35% to 18% for the next closest candidate.

I agree with Warren Buffet, I admire the fact the Mitt Romney has spent money and time in every single state, he is making his appeal to ALL Americans.

Posted by JB | Report as abusive


I don’t think the comment that Romney got the mormon vote was to diminish Romney’s win. The voting polls in the Nevada vote suggest that maybe Huckabee might get more than half of the evagelical vote but Romney will get all of the mormon vote. This suggests Romney as a big contender that they didn’t realize before.

This may also suggests that Romney can take the mormon vote from the Democrats which before now I think the mormon vote has been untapped historically in both political revenue and votes.

In all counts I think the Nevada vote suggests Romney could take the White House.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive

The media keeps saying that Romney got the “Mormon vote” while ignoring the fact that Huckabee gets the “anti-Mormon vote”. If it wasn’t for Romney’s religion and that hateful bigotry so prevalent among evangelials, Huckabee wouldn’t have a chance.

Posted by HT Springer | Report as abusive

The fact that the media is always trying to vilify Romney anyway they can is the very best indicator he is the RIGHT man for the job! The media loves John McCain because he aligns with liberals more than not. They love Huckabee because they know they can tear him up during the general election. Mitt Romney is a Harvard graduate with a good record in business and even worse for the media – he’s a man of character! What will they do without any skeletons to pull out of his closet? I also appreciate the fact that Romney has organizations in every state and even visits those states that others can’t be bothered with! I can’t wait for the opportunity to vote for Mitt Romney!!

Posted by tam6824 | Report as abusive

Kenneth Micael Daugherty: Go to your room. Playing the “cult” card on Mitt Romney is backfiring. Most thinking people see through it. This country believes in freedom of religion, in case you forgot. In fact the constitution explicitely prohibits a religion test for public office. The fact is that Mitt Romney is the most qualified candidate and the most electible. We don’t have to worry about him being a scandle-of-the-week president, he’s clean as a whistle. He has a firm grasp of financial markets, and is a man of principle, not polls. He’s the only one running that actually talks about the issues intelligently and in detail, not platitudes, generalities and sound-bites.

P.S. The original definition of “cult” is “a particular system of religious worship”. The derrogatory form in which you use the word is a slang and came along later.

Posted by guitarpicker | Report as abusive