This week, Pew released the results of its 2016 study of political party identification, including breakdowns of both parties by gender, age, race, and – you guessed it – religion.
For Mormons, the news is particularly interesting because it comes in an election cycle when the “Mormon vote” has been a particular hurdle for Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president.
Trump’s inability to capture the LDS vote seems reflected in the Pew numbers: In 2012, 78% of Mormons said they were Republican or “leaned” Republican, compared to just 69% this year.
That means that Mormons aren’t America’s most Republican religious group anymore, as they were in Pew’s 2014 Religious Landscape survey. Today, that honor belongs to white evangelicals, who favor the GOP at a whopping 76%.
It’s certainly true that many Mormons dislike Donald Trump. In fact, late last year the Church, which does not officially endorse political candidates or tell Latter-day Saints how to vote, went out of its way to publicly decry the policy plan of Donald Trump in emphasizing that the Church promotes the value of religious freedom – which is not consistent with Trump’s stated plan to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. The timing of the announcement was not lost on the Church-owned Deseret News, whose headline read, “LDS Church releases statement on religious freedom while Donald Trump’s Muslim controversy swirls.”
This article continues at [Religion News Service] Mormons are less Republican this year, Pew study finds