From the Pew Forum, “How the Faithful Voted: 2012 Preliminary Analysis” we have exit-poll data on how Mormons voted in 2012 and in 2004 when it was Kerry vs. Bush (hat tip to David Heap). A slightly higher percentage of Mormons supported Obama this time than supported Kerry (21% vs. 19%). Mormons are still highly oriented toward the Republican Party, but it would seem untenable to argue that Romney’s religion played a key role in swinging Mormon voters his way or that Mormons voted for a candidate primarily due to his religion. I can testify that at least one faithful Mormon didn’t like either candidate and voted Libertarian, though I won’t disclose his name to protect his ever dwindling privacy.
When Obama won four years ago, my sense was that a lot of Mormons who had opposed Obama could at least have a superficial, momentary sense of pride for the nation in being able to clearly get past its racial problems of the past and elect a black president. Had Romney won, I don’t think that the Mormons who opposed him (and his opponents in general) would have had a similar sense of pride for America in being able to elect a Mormon president. I think a sense of terror would be the more common emotion. Maybe I’m reading things wrong, of course.
For me, I was hoping that if we did get a Mormon President, perhaps if things went well internationally and economically, and if America somehow ended up looking like a good guy instead of a global brute and spendthrift about to bring down the global economy (and if we didn’t blame China for our problems), then perhaps it would create positive interest globally in the Church. Ha ha! Crazy, now that I think about it more clearly. A brief delusion. (The Lord has better ways of opening doors.) I’m now grateful that a Mormon won’t be the one blamed for the apparent mess ahead. Can we dodge that bullet by spending more and further deflating our currency? Hmmm, let’s give it a try…. It worked for Zimbabwe, right? Go for it, Mr. Bernanke!
And good luck, Mr. President. May there be peace.