Conventional wisdom holds that Governor Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith was a boat anchor that reduced his potential support among Republican primary voters in 2008, and could undermine his campaign in the 2012 general election. This concern declined as Romney won solid primary victories and rapidly consolidated Republican support. Recent polls show him running neck and neck with President Obama in the November election.
But Romney’s faith could still be a factor—and one that helps him, not hurts him. Romney’s membership in a minority religious community with a history of suffering—very real and very recent religious persecution—opens up an opportunity for him to connect with voters as a credible advocate for the religious liberty of all Americans.
The modern Democrat party openly boasts that it will win in 2012 by dividing Americans—black against white; immigrant against native-born; poor against rich—with the “Buffett rule” and rhetoric against the “one percent.” That said, Obama has been in one key aspect the unifying President he claims to be. He and the aggressively secular left have in effect created an ecumenical movement in defense of religious liberty.