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Survey: More Protestants know Romney is LDS

Published: Friday, Oct. 28 2011 11:31 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, greets volunteers during his visit to a call center at the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) headquarters in Fairfax. Va., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011.

Associated Press

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A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute reveals that white evangelical Protestants are becoming increasingly attuned to the fact that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Released Thursday, the data shows 53 percent of white evangelicals correctly identify Romney as LDS or Mormon — a marked increase from July, when only 44 percent of the same Protestant subset knew about Romney's religion. This upward tick occurred during a time when the general public's ability to peg Romney's faith has changed relatively little.

"Only 42 percent of Americans can correctly identify Mitt Romney's religion as Mormon," Public Religion Research Institute writes. "This level of knowledge remains unchanged from July 2011, when 4-in-10 (40 percent) Americans correctly identified Mitt Romney's religion as Mormon."

Staying on the topic of Romney and religion, just last week Public Religion Research Institute concluded that a large part of Romney's popularity in Nevada — where the latest polling shows the former Massachusetts governor leading runner-up Herman Cain by as many as 12 percentage points — stems from the Silver State's relatively high percentage of Mormons.

"Nevada (has) a much higher concentration of Mormon voters (16.2 percent) than its rival early primary and caucus states. For example, in New Hampshire … Mormons comprise a scant 1.1 percent of registered voters. In Iowa, which will hold its caucus on Jan. 3, Mormons are only 1.4 percent of registered voters. South Carolina and Florida, which will hold their primaries in late January, have even more miniscule percentages (0.1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively).

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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