NPR: After Mitt Romney's loss, Mormons lament what might have been

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2012 1:32 p.m. MST

Surrounded by their children children, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, foreground, stands with his wife, Ann, and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., second from right, stands with his wife, Janna, after Romney's concession speech at his Election Night rally early Wednesday in Boston.

Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

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Our take: Following Mitt Romney's loss to Barack Obama, there have been mixed reactions from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some believe that a Romney presidency would have shed more light on the faith, encouraging more acceptance. Others believe it would have caused further scrutiny.

Poor Chris Stewart. The former Air Force pilot had just won a landslide victory in his first bid for Congress in Utah, but the crowd of Republicans listening to his acceptance speech at a Salt Lake City hotel kept pointing to the massive television screen behind him.

"Do you want me to stop?" Stewart asked. "You would rather listen to Gov. Romney than to me, wouldn't you?"

Some in the crowd shouted "Yes!" and the sound of Romney's concession speech filled the room.

Given Utah's Mormon majority, and its dominance of the Republican Party and most elected positions in the state, it's safe to say the crowd was predominately Mormon. There was complete silence for the first time all night as Romney spoke. Some in the crowd choked back tears.

Utah gave Romney his biggest election victory Tuesday night with 73 percent of the vote.

"This is not about religion," said Lara Marriott, a health and fitness saleswoman who attended Romney's Mormon congregation in Massachusetts when he was the top local leader.

"This is about our country," Marriott added.

Read more about After Romney's Loss, Mormons Lament What Might Have Been on NPR.

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