Poll: Only 42% Know Romney Is a Mormon
Evangelicals only group becoming more aware of his religion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2011 9:21 AM CDT
"The idea that we should choose people, based on their religion, for public office is what I find to be most troubling,” Romney said during last week's debate.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Despite Mitt Romney's religion getting plenty of press—especially when a Rick Perry backer called it a cult—fewer than half of Americans know that he is a Mormon, according to a new poll. The Public Religion Research Institute poll found that 42% correctly identified him as a Mormon; 6% believed he was a Catholic or a Protestant, and 45% said they didn't know what Romney's religion was, the Hill reports. That's virtually unchanged from the 40% who were aware of his religion in July.

The only group in which awareness of Romney's religion has gone up since July was white evangelicals—which could spell trouble for the candidate, notes the Washington Post. "We know from our research that six in 10 evangelicals do not see the Mormon faith to be a Christian religion,” PRRI’s research director says. “As more evangelical voters identify Romney as a Mormon, the question will be whether he can bridge the religious gap with shared political values." Romney is on course to become the first Mormon nominee from either party, but the church has said it has no intention of getting involved in politics.