Mitt Romney might as well throw in the towel. He never had a chance. It's the Mormon thing.
On ABC's This Week last Sunday there was a panel discussion that revolved around the question, "What's wrong with Romney?" George Will said it was his "Romney ness." That could be taken several ways, but I believe it is political code for "He's rich, white and a Mormon." And because of his "Romney ness", they agreed, he is "not connecting with people."
In the Washington Post, there's this: "Mitt Romney, as everyone knows, is a lifelong Mormon and this has clearly cost him votes." wrote Sally Quinn. "In Saturday’s South Carolina primary, exit polls show that religion played a major role in elevating Gingrich to the win and breaking the Republican race wide open."
Mormonism is a major negative in the voting booth.
Mike Huckabee said on Fox News, "I do think he (Romney) ought to address it (Mormonism)." He already tried that, Mike. 4 years ago. He delivered a major speech on his faith at Texas A&M. Didn't work then, won't work now.
Even stories on Romney's tax returns in the Huffington Post and other news outlets contain references to his "Mormon tithing" as if contributing money to any church is somehow sinister or a tax dodge. (Want to spike your blood pressure? Read some of the reader comments on those stories.)
There remains in American society way too much confusion about who Mormons are and what they believe. (The whole Warren Jeffs thing just made matters exponentially worse.)
In 20 years, the "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the proper name of the "Mormon Church") might have an impact, but by then it will be way too late for Mitt.
For now, research consistently shows a pervasive prejudice in America against Mormons. And that prejudice extends across the political spectrum. It's just as prevalent among "tolerant liberals" as it is among "conservative evangelicals."
Back in the early 60's, the question was, "Is the country ready to elect a Catholic President?" The answer then was, "Yes."
Now the question before us: "Is the country ready to elect a Mormon President?" And the answer seems to be, "Heck, no!"