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Polls show both presidential candidates' religions misunderstood



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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The Pew Research Center poll finds more people than ever are aware of Mitt Romney's faith; and that a growing number of people believe President Obama is muslim.

The nationwide study of more than 2,300 registered voters shows 60 percent now know Mitt Romney is LDS. That's compared with 58 percent in March, and 48 percent last November.

The July results show 41 percent are comfortable with Romney's religious faith; 13 percent say they're uncomfortable and 46 percent say it doesn't matter or don't know his religion.

For President Obama, fewer people say the President is Christian than they did in October of 2008: 49 percent today compared with 55 per cent then. And, more people believe he is Muslim--17 percent compared with 12 percent in the '08 elections.

Among those who know he's Christian, 45 percent say they're comfortable with the President's faith. 19 percent say they are uncomfortable with his religion - but most of those believe he is Muslim.

The study shows opportunity for Romney to grow, if he shares more about his faith.

#Poll

In his interview with Brian Williams, Romney said he isn't avoiding the faith issue in the campaign. When Williams asked if Romney was "a hidden man," Romney said, "No as a matter of fact I speak quite regularly about my heritage. I'm without question I'm proud of my faith. I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I'm proud of that. I"ll talk about my experiences in the church, there's no question they've helped shape my perspective."

It seems that voters want a man of faith in the White House. More than two-thirds say it's more important for the president to have strong religious beliefs. But from recent polls, it's clear that there are misunderstandings about what each of the candidates this year believe.

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Richard Piatt

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