People view Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani as the least religious of the major presidential candidates, according to a poll released Thursday. Mitt Romney was seen as most religious, but his Mormonism may hurt him with voters.
Seven in 10 in the nonpartisan Pew Research Center poll said they believe it is important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, including broad majorities of both parties. Most also see each major presidential hopeful as at least somewhat religious — important because people who view a candidate that way are likelier to have a favorable opinion of them.
Of those expressing an opinion on the candidates' beliefs, 46 percent said they consider Romney, a Republican contender, to be very religious, far more than any other candidate. Yet a quarter of all Republicans — including 36 percent of white evangelical Protestants — said they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon.
Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the former Massachusetts governor has "the same hopes and aspirations for his country" as voters, adding, "Any sort of abstract aversion toward him because of his denomination will likely fade."
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Posted September 7, 2007 at 4:15 pm
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