SoapZone Community: Politics Message Board
Mormon Solidarity Bolsters Romney in Nevada
|Date:|| Sat, 03-Nov-2012 11:08:03 PM PDT |
|Where:||SoapZone Community: Politics Message Board|
West Allen isn’t like most Republicans. For one, like Romney, he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And instead of spitting bile about Obama, the Las Vegas lawyer sounds Romneyesque when he calls the president a good man who is just in over his head as the nation’s chief executive. As for Romney, well, just listen to how Allen describes him: “As a father of five children, this man is a hero. He’s a hero for me and my children because he’s actually the type of man I would want my children to emulate. We haven’t had a president like that in many generations.”
The 45-year-old says that the emphasis on Obama’s faults, instead of Romney’s strengths, can be frustrating. “I have had a chance to meet and talk with [Romney] and his family, and like I said, I know enough about his faith to know what motivates him,” Allen says, speaking from his sixth-floor law office a mile from the city’s famed Strip. “When I juxtapose that to the greatest Americans we have, the guy is right up there. It’s hard to find a presidential candidate in history of the United States who is such a Captain America-type man.” Allen, who calls Romney’s campaign “almost providential,” still isn’t done: “Mitt Romney is very much like Ronald Reagan was.” Most Republicans will vote for Romney, but they won’t compare him to the Gipper.
Allen’s backing for Romney, of course, isn’t tied only to their mutual faith; he, like every voter, has a matrix of reasons to explain his support (in his case, a focus on the federal debt). But it’s true that Allen’s backing for Romney, of course, isn’t tied only to their mutual faith; he, like every voter, has a matrix of reasons to explain his support (in his case, a focus on the federal debt). But it’s true that their religion, and the shared background and values it brings, are a major reason that Allen and other Mormons are eager to vote for Romney—the first person of their faith to top the presidential ticket of a major party.
The exuberant—albeit isolated—well of Mormon enthusiasm could have crucial implications for the White House race in swing-state Nevada, where LDS members make up about 7 percent of the population. That’s not much, but when more than eight of 10 Nevada Mormons are poised to back Romney (a summer survey from Gallup found 84 percent of Mormons favor the GOP nominee), they constitute an important voting bloc. It certainly mattered during the caucuses, when Mormons accounted for a quarter of the electorate. Romney won that race with 50 percent of the vote in a four-man field. If Mormon turnout surges in the general election—as some Republican operatives speculate—or if they’re able to energize the GOP ground game, Romney will benefit in a state where he narrowly trails Obama just weeks before Election Day.
But Romney’s Mormon edge has a catch: LDS members are committed to keeping their church—a tax-exempt, ostensibly nonpartisan organization—from taking sides in the presidential election. That hobbles those in the community who hope to maximize their effect on the ballot box in November. Here’s another problem: The Romney campaign has not yet reached out to the LDS community to enlist its help, according to many Mormons in Nevada. As a result, the two forces best positioned to organize Mormons in Nevada are sitting this fight out. Their absence leaves members of the church to mobilize on their own if they want their favorite son to sit in the White House next year.
Mormon Steve Ross is voting for Obama because, as he puts it, Republican obstructionism in Washington has barely given him a chance to be president yet. But Ross said he’s nonetheless “thrilled to death” that Romney is the GOP nominee. “Now that he’s running for president, it’s changed significantly. Because now people want to know. They say, ‘Hey, this Mitt Romney isn’t a bad guy. What does he stand for? What are his beliefs?’ It’s been an added benefit to missionary work, if you will, for this candidate to be a Mormon and to be on the presidential ballot.”
It’s that connection, one deeper than politics, that animates Mormons’ enthusiasm for Romney. And it’s translating into a heightened awareness of the presidential election in a community known for its political involvement, says Todd Moody, a 47-year-old LDS member from Las Vegas. “There are those who are extremely energized by Mitt Romney’s campaign and more politically involved than they have ever been,” says Moody, a lawyer. “Not just because he’s a fellow member of the church but because his ideals align with theirs.”
That’s not the case with every Mormon, he cautioned; some are far more preoccupied with getting by in a state economy among the nation’s worst. But Moody, whose 14-year-old daughter is helping to register voters, says that this election is different. “There is clearly added excitement because of Mitt Romney’s candidacy.”
CHURCH VERSUS CAMPAIGN
The Mormon community is more excited, yes. But for the church itself, the Romney campaign is a different matter altogether.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is strictly nonpartisan, and any deviation from that would jeopardize its status as a tax-exempt organization. Church members point to another doctrine would jeopardize its status as a tax-exempt organization. Church members point to another doctrine that keeps the institution from backing Romney: The church encourages its members to be politically active and offers them a chance to register to vote, but members interviewed by National Journal say that any attempt to direct them how to vote—in a religion that preaches self-reliance—would be met with hostility.
Romney isn't winning Nevada. - LM - 04-Nov-2012 7:03 AM
- I hope not, just put this up because I live here and see it EOM - LovingTheCityPC - 04-Nov-2012 11:59 AM
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