With a Mormon candidate among the front-runners for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, a musical about Mormons playing on Broadway and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (LDS) running television ads about ordinary Mormons, America is in the midst of what some media accounts have dubbed a "Mormon moment."
A major new survey explores how Mormons themselves feel about the media spotlight, the election campaign and their place in America. The survey finds a mixed picture: Many Mormons feel they are misunderstood, discriminated against and not accepted by other Americans as part of mainstream society. Yet, at the same time, a majority of Mormons think that acceptance of Mormonism is rising. Overwhelmingly, they are satisfied with their lives and content with their communities. And most say they think the country is ready to elect a Mormon president.
These are among the findings of a comprehensive survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life of more than 1,000 Mormons across the country - the first of its kind ever published by a non-LDS research organization. Previous studies, including the Pew Forum's 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, have found that Mormons make up slightly less than 2% of the U.S. public.
The report's section on politics says:
Mormons are more conservative than the general public on a variety of political, social and moral issues. Compared with the population as a whole, Mormons are more Republican in their party affiliation and conservative in their political ideology. They have a less favorable view of Barack Obama than non-Mormons, and they hold more conservative views than the general public on issues such as the size of government, abortion and homosexuality. On questions of morality, Mormons are more likely than others to say that extramarital sex and drinking alcohol are morally wrong.