What's the matter with Mitt?
I wish I fully understood why so many commentators are unwilling to admit that this is part of Mitt Romney's problem:
More than four in 10 American voters say they are uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon in the White House, a reflection of the steep challenge facing Mitt Romney in the GOP primary.
According to a survey released Tuesday (Nov. 8) by the Public Religion Research Institute, Romney faces an identity problem among those who already know he's a Mormon, and those who don't but generally have qualms about the faith...
Among white evangelical voters, 47 percent expressed discomfort with a Mormon president, compared to 42 percent of Catholics and 30 percent of white mainline Protestants. Among Americans overall, the figure was 42 percent.
42% of Americans of all stripes have discomfort with a Mormon? That's a lot of people. And yet, as Romney continues to be the presumptive nominee among the chattering classes, he cannot seal the deal. And everybody assumes it's because he's wishy-washy or has some other obscure personality defect that turns people off.
When Perry slid in the polls it was immediately assumed to be because of his semi-humane approach to illegal immigration rather than his uncanny George W. Bush impression. Now Newtie has taken over the Great Conservative Hope role and recently committed apostasy on the same subject. So far he seems to be hanging in there in the polls. I think the commentators got that wrong.
Similarly, I think people have been misreading Romney's weakness as being his flip-flopping or his suspected moderation. In his case, the underlying suspicion that he isn't "one of them" meaning --- Christian. And what's interesting about it is that it's politically incorrect to even mention it.
Has there ever been a more fascinating GOP primary? I don't ever want it to end.