I just stumbled onto this very interesting comment written as a response to “Romney’s faith doesn’t make waves in Winterset, Iowa” which you can read here. The article makes every attempt to downplay the importance of Gov. Romney’s speech, “Faith In America” or his membership in the Mormon faith. Of course, the interview was with a Baptist missionary who “claimed” he didn’t support Mitt because of his past positions. It seems that the anti-Mormon Evangelicals “think” they they are having their “anti-Mormon-moment” and trying to exploit it for all it’s worth. This is a very well-written and thought out sentiment on how important it is for ANY GOP candidate to stand behind Mitt Romney’s faith. Huckabee’s camp would do well to take notice.
Let us assume for a moment that Mike Huckabee gets nominated by the Republican Party for the presidency. I know it is a bold assumption.. Let us examine his chances of his winning the general election without Mormon votes. Given current American voting trends and demographics, he would have no chance. If the Huckster is nominated, the swing states of Nevada (about 10% Mormon), Oregon (4%) and New Mexico (4%) will swing to the Democrats. Remember that President Bush lost Oregon by a couple thousand votes in 2000; New Mexico by a few hundred and picked it up in 2004 by an equally slim margin. Besides losing swing states in 2008, Republicans could also lose solidly red states if they embrace the bigot for president. What would losing a large voting block in, if not the states of, Utah (1.8 million Mormons), Idaho (15%), Wyoming (14%), and Arizona (6%) (you don’t hear McCain bashing Mormons, do you? in fact he’s done just the opposite) do for Republican hopes in 2008? Defections of Mormons in Colorado (131,000) and California (750,000) might cost a few Republican congressional seats. Losing the most-solidly Republican block in the country, the Mormons, or even putting it in play, would turn red states blue and eliminate any hopes of Republicans holding Colorado in the Senate or retaining the White House.
Mormons are tolerant folks, but they don’t tolerate anti-Mormon hostility, especially the bigotry that has been demonstrated by Huckabee’s supporters and, by extension Huckabee, for Huckabee’s failure to call them on it. So, when all of these Mormons decide that they are not going to tolerate an anti-Mormon bigot in the White House, will Mormons in those states vote for a third party or just stay home? Both options are being openly discussed in Mormon circles. If it is a third party, Mormons trend Libertarian; but that is beside the point. How could you vote for someone who is completely intolerant of your faith? Mormons have marched along supporting the candidates of the evangelical right for decades (who voted more reliably for Bush than Mormons? Not evangelicals.) and this Mormon and many others he happens to be talking to are ready to leave the party if Huckabee is nominated or his anti-Mormon campaign continues to be tolerated by the party.
Think of Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona turning blue? Impossible? Not if an anti-Mormon is on the Republican ticket. People say Romney can’t win without evangelicals, well, Huckabee or any other Republican can’t win without Mormons in 2008. It’s a two-way street. No Republican will win the presidency in 2008 without us.
Before anyone discounts the idea of blue Mormons, consider that Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate is, a Mormon, who, despite being a Democrat, has enjoyed splitting the typically Republican Mormon vote in Nevada. More telling is that Utah County, the home of BYU and the most densely Mormon and Republican area in Utah had a Democrat representing it in Congress for most of the 1990s.
If anyone has any questions about how strongly many of us feel about this, let me say that I am as likely to support Mike Huckabee as Jesse Jackson would support David Duke. Is that clear enough?
How about them apples?