Political Blog: Can you be a Mormon and a Democrat?

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While the LDS Church maintains its politically neutral stance, a recent study shows a majority of its members say they are Republican. The study used results from the American Religious Identification Survey, done by Trinity College in Connecticut.  Among other things, the study showed 59 percent Mormons identify as Republican, versus 27 percent of non-Mormons.

Other key findings from the survey show Mormons on average receive more education than non-Mormons, with 29 percent of Mormons overall who have a college degree, compared to 24 percent of non-Mormons.

Utah Republican chairman Thomas Wright said Utahan’s affinity for the GOP has less to do with religion and more to do with the principles the party espouses, The Salt Lake Tribune reports, and encourages party members to read up on which party best fits their ideals.

“People in Utah recognize that the values in the Democratic platform don’t align with their values and it’s not because of religion necessarily, but because that’s where they believe the policies of the country should be,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wright as saying.

However, there have been some attempts to bridge the gap between the GOP, the political path popular for so many Mormons, and Democrats. For instance, Utah Democratic Party chairman Jim Dabakis disagreed, saying Republicans have done a good job of selling their party to members of Utah’s dominant religion.

“They’ve been brilliant at creating this image of what a Democrat is and how it’s the antithesis of what an active LDS person is,” he said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “The problem is that the straw man is wrong and the truth is that overwhelmingly the values and ideas [of the Democrats] are so much more in line with the LDS culture than the Republicans’.”

 

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