Mormonism, voter enthusiasm concern evangelicals

By Rachel Zoll

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9 2012 1:10 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Lexington, Va. Evangelical leaders worried that Mitt Romney’s Mormonism could depress conservative turnout on Election Day are intensifying appeals for Christians to vote. In poll after poll, evangelicals have overwhelmingly said they would back the Republican presidential nominee despite theological differences with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Charles Dharapak, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — Evangelical leaders worried that Mitt Romney's Mormonism could suppress conservative turnout are intensifying appeals for Christians to vote.

About two dozen prominent evangelical leaders issued a statement last month emphasizing conservative moral values over a candidate's particular religion.

Influential Pentecostal publisher Steve Strang has also been working to get out the vote. He told a group of pastors last week that many churchgoers are having trouble setting aside theological concerns about Mormonism to back the Republican presidential nominee. Strang fears Christian conservatives will stay home on Election Day.

Romney is the first Mormon presidential nominee from a major party. Evangelical voters have said repeatedly in polls that they'd back Romney despite concerns about his religion. But Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler says that hypothetical question now faces a real-word test.

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