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Will racial or religious bigotry determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election?

By DOUG THOMPSON - Capitol Hill Blue
July 19, 2012

A question discussed privately by political strategists on both sides of political aisle focuses on the concern that bigotry — either religious or racial — could decide who wins the Presidency of the United States in November.

Republican and Democratic strategists confide to Capitol Hill Blue that focus groups and some polling show resentment of either incumbent President Barack Obama’s race or Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s Mormonism could be a deciding factor in a close race.

“It may come down to which base fear is more dominant: Fear of blacks or fear of Mormons,” says a senior Democratic strategist, who asked not to be identified.  “We see a lot of fear on both sides.”

Which leaves both campaigns with a decision.  Do Republicans play a race card by playing on the fear that many on the right have on racial issues?  Do Democrats raise questions about those who belong to the Mormon faith?

“It would be a dangerous move by either side,” says a top GOP strategist.  “Some in the Romney camp want to use Rev. Wright.  That could backfire in a big way.”

Romney rejected using Wright against Obama two months ago but decisions have a habit of changing in close elections.

In the 2008 campaign, GOP Presidential candidate John McCain ruled out using Rev. Jeremiah Wright‘s fiery sermons, particular one where he screamed “God Damn America,” against Obama, although independent groups did raise the issue.  At the time, Obama was a member of Wright’s church but resigned.

Some in GOP circles believe that if McCain has turned his attack dogs loose on Wright and left Sarah Palin to a life of obscurity in Alaska, he might have had a better shot at winning.

In this year’s election, polls in both camps show fear of the Mormon religion runs high with a surprising number of Americans.  Some equate Mormonism with the Church of Scientology.

“A high level of misunderstanding exists about religion,” says one Democratic pollster.  “Ask the average American if there is a difference between The Church of Scientology and Christian Scientists, for example, and almost half will say ‘no’ even though we’re talking about entirely different religions.  One internal poll, never released to the public, showed 20 percent think Mormons and Muslims have a lot in common.

Which leaves Campaign 2012 with a frightening scenario.  In today’s win-at-any-cost political environment, will race and religion become attack lines?

Stranger things have happened in Presidential campaigns.

Four years ago at this time, few Americans had ever heard of Sarah Palin.

Now, most probably wish they never had.

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14 Responses to Will racial or religious bigotry determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election?

  1. Sandy Price

    July 19, 2012 at 9:46 am

    How I yearn for the days of the Separation of Church and State! I believe the impact from the LDS Prophet could be deadly to American values. I’m not convinced that Gov. Romney can separate these subjects. Years ago Ezra Taft Benson was the Prophet and wrote many documents on his work as leader of the church and he was praised highly for his approach to his religion. He is not the Prophet we have today. The church has become secretive now that they can have an impact on our government. It’s not that they are unAmerican, but we need to know what goes on in Salt Lake City.

    My government is not for sale

  2. woody188

    July 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Seems to me it isn’t religion or race deciding the election, but ignorance and stupidity.

  3. Sandy Price

    July 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

    The church of the LDS has deep roots in a white supremacy, homophobic and women’s rights prohibitions. It didn’t take too long before they claimed to have changed their prohibitions to increase their membership,

    It is an important action to see that all humans are baptised as members of the Mormon faith even after death. When the church began to baptize the Jews killed by Hitler, religious Jews all over the world put a stop to this forced action…did it work?

    I have come to believe America has become a racist nation.

  4. Almandine

    July 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Plenty of religious bigotry on display here… at least in one corner.

  5. therealraven

    July 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Great news! I have joined the local militia and we are going out on a Mormon hunt latter on today. Say, Sandy, what is the limit? Can I gut them in the field? Is Mormon season year round? Can I hunt ‘em in Utah or is that a preserve?

  6. Willie Buck Merle

    July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    God created the Mormons so Christians will know how the Jews feel.

  7. Sandy Price

    July 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Raven. The only problem is keepking all religions out of the government. Christians havre always had a place in America but not within the Congress who makes up our laws. I know a bit about the LDS and their plans for a Mormon nation. They wrote their own moral code of ethics and the majority of other religious groups despire their agenda. The best way to handle this is to remove all religious discussions from the White House, the Congress and the Supreme Court. Have you read the comments made by Michelle Backmann on the subject of Obama? She has successfully broken many of the security laws found in D.C. She is a perfect example of words of war found inside the USA issued by Evangelicals. .

  8. therealraven

    July 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    So you have managed to link LDS….Obama….Backmann. If find your harping on the fact that the grand old USA will become a Mormon caliph with the possible coronation of Romney disturbing since it does represent the most vile fringe in politics today. Of course your “proof” is again a tale of your own personal indoctrination. Thanks for the warning.

    So, Sandy, is Harry Reid part of this? So, Sandy, did Romney turn Massachusetts into a Mormon sanctuary complete with adherence to Mormon doctrine by us simple residents?

  9. Jim B.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    It’s a sad and continuing commentary on the human condition that racial and religious bigotry will dictate some people’s voting choices. It all seems so more pronounced today because of the intense polarization in American politics.

  10. Sandy Price

    July 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Well guys, I will leave you with your opinions of what is important in American politics. You want your religious leadership, you had better be prepared for the consequences. Raven, your post about killing Mormons is exactly what is wrong with CHB. Everything is played for laughs Did you ever think about what would fix our nation? Or do I ask the impossible? Doug gave you a whining board and I am out of line. Maybe you need to grow up a little. Are you out school?

  11. Almandine

    July 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    What difference does it make on why you vote one way or the other? It’s your vote… do as you see fit.

    • bryan mcclellan

      July 20, 2012 at 12:12 am

      No sweeter words ever rang so true Al.

      • Almandine

        July 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

        Hey Bryan… nice to see you’re back.

  12. therealraven

    July 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Sandy…it is called “sarcasm” and sometimes it is best to use it when faced with repeated nonsense about a religious oligarchy that you have fabricated in your own mind. At least you saved me from another boring round of your “stories” regarding the LDS.

    Posts like yours make me what to start cutting myself again. Oh….that is more “sarcasm.”