Mitt Romney's bid for Republican party nomination in the 2012 presidential elections continues to be threatened by issues being raised by Evangelicals over his Mormon faith. While, recently, Romney secured the support of some influential evangelical leaders such as Mark DeMoss, he still has significant hurdles to surmount in his attempts at reaching out to Evangelicals and gaining their confidence.
Mark DeMoss, founder of The DeMoss Group, an evangelical public relations firm, explained his endorsement of Romney, "I decided it's more important for me if a candidate shares my value than it is if he or she shared my theology."
According to the Christian Post, recently, Warren Cole Smith, an Evangelical journalist, and associate publisher of World Magazine opposed DeMoss. In an address he gave to some evangelical leaders who had endorsed Romney in his 2008 presidential campaign, Smith said, "You can't say that his religious beliefs don't matter but his 'values' do. If beliefs are false, then behavior will eventually–but inevitably–be warped."
Many Evangelical leaders who support Romney argue that they do so because, while they do not subscribe to Mormon theology, they find common grounds with Romney on social and cultural issues, especially abortion and same-sex marriage. But Romney's opponents among Evangelicals point to his past vacillations on the core social and cultural Evangelical values. Evangelical opponents of Romney, like Warren Cole Smith, also argue that endorsing Romney is equivalent to endorsing what they consider the "false doctrines" of the Mormon sect. Mormonism, according to Warren Cole Smith, teaches a false version of history with its claim that the "lost tribes" of Israel came to America and that Jesus also came to America.
Mitt's Romney's opponents in Evangelical circles argue that to support the election of a Mormon into the White House is to "advance the course of the Mormon Church" worldwide.The feeling in Evangelical circles is that supporting a Mormon would be supporting "false religion" to prosper.
It would appear that Mitt Romney will face daunting religious challenges in seeking Republican nomination, for Evangelicals appear to dominating the Republican list of nominees. These include Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin (whose candidacy is yet unconfirmed) and Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain.
Recent polls show that Romney leads Sarah Palin only by narrow margin among GOP candidates for Republican nomination.