A recent article published on Tuesday, Feb. 23, by Pew Research Center pointed out that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are one of the most Republican religious group in the nation.
Seventy-one percent of U.S. self-identified Mormons identified with or leaned toward the GOP, according to the 2014 Religious Landscape Study which was the basis of the article titled, “U.S. religious groups and their political leanings.”
The survey polled just over 35,000 people, randomly interviewing a minimum of 300 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey reported reaching 664 self-identified members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nationwide.
The percentage gap between the preferences towards the GOP and the Democratic Party is 51 percent among LDS respondents. That is the largest gap of any religious group examined toward the Republican Party.
On the Democratic side, 92 percent of African Methodist Episcopal church members identify with or lean Democrat and four percent lean toward or identify with the Republican Party, a gap of 88 percentage points — the largest gap of any religious group in the survey. Other predominantly black religious groups identified in the survey have strong Democratic leanings like the Church of God in Christ.
Self-identified Jehovah’s Witnesses are the by and far the largest group that identifies as either as independents, have no or “Other” affiliations at seventy-five percent. Only 18 and seven percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses identify as or lean towards as the Democratic Party and Republican Party, respectively, because they are taught to remain politically neutral and to not vote.
The survey found a similarity in religious affiliation and the 2012 presidential exit polls. About 95 percent of black Protestants voted for Democratic President Barak Obama and 78 percent of Mormons said they voted for Mormon Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
In apparent similarity, 61 percent of interviewed Mormons identified as “conservative;” 27 percent represented themselves as moderates and nine percent identified as liberal.
The survey also shows that the Mormons are second only to Jehovah’s Witnesses in opposing homosexuality, same-sex marriage and abortion.
Mormons also lead in belief in heaven, 95 percent, just a few points over a group called Historically Black Protestants, 93 percent.
The polls shows that self-identified Mormons are torn over environmental laws. Fifty-three percent of respondents said that “stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy” while 42 percent said “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains that the church itself maintains political neutrality. All General Authorities, general officers and other full-time ecclesiastical leaders are to not participate in politics.
“The Church does not endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms; allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes; attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; or, attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader,” according to Mormon Newsroom.
The church encourages members to participate in politics responsibly through civil and informed engagement.