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LDS more politically conservative than any other faith

LDS more politically conservative than any other faith



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY -- This most likely won't surprise you. Most Mormons are Republican.

The Pew Forum U.S. Religious Landscape Survey says 65 percent of LDS Church members are either Republican or they lean that way, which is a higher percentage than any other religious group. I asked people at Temple Square why that is.

One woman said, "I believe in the sanctity marriage between a man and a woman, and also in not doing abortion." Another said, "I like free enterprise. I like a capital society. I like to be able to take care of myself and not have to depend on the government."

That's not to say all LDS Church members who claim to be Republican always vote with the party. Of the 10 people I spoke with, three said they have no problems electing a Democrat if the candidate is right. One temple-goer said, "Sometimes, there's a Democrat I know will do well for this country."

The Pew study says only 50 percent of evangelicals consider themselves Republican or right-leaning, compared to 33 percent of Catholics, 41 percent of members of what are called "Mainline Churches" and 25 percent of "Other Christians."

According to the study, 22 percent of Mormons are Democrats or left-leaning, and 8 percent say they're independent. But some Democrats see 22 percent as a big jump from the ‘80s.

Utah County Democratic Party Chair Richard Davis referred to an old L.A. Times poll when he said, "Ninety percent of Mormons said that they voted for Ronald Reagan. This was 1984."

Davis says some people may not correctly understand the platform of the Democratic Party. He says the national party does not support gay marriage, and the Utah County Democratic Party is "pro-life."

Davis said, "Republicans and Democrats, in various parts of the country, are certainly not bound by a national platform. They can believe what they want to believe about issues."

Only one group, members of "Historically Black Churches" are more homogenous with their political affiliation, with 78 percent either claiming to be Democrat or claiming to lean that way.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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