Mormons for McCain — Where Are You?

Lately I’ve been trying to locate any kind of organized effort for Mormons for McCain.

I haven’t had much luck.

Using a Google Search of “Mormons for McCain,” all that came up were some older articles that talked about some Mormons who were rooting for McCain when Romney was still in the race. (And now hopefully this post, hehe.) Combining keywords “Mormon” and “McCain” also yields nothing — simply some articles that discuss McCain’s anti-Mormon mother and how McCain had said “I don’t know” if Mormons are Christians. It looks like there are other news articles, though, that claim that he has accepted that Mormons are Christians.

“LDS” and “McCain”? Not much here. TMB actually has the second and third links! (which is pretty sad). The fourth link is to a recent story (June 22) about a McCain campaign worker who, speaking of Romney, claimed Mormons fund Hamas and also criticized how Mormons treat women. (Interestingly, Jon Huntsman, a pre-Romney-drop-out McCain supporter, said in response, “When we have political discussion debates, let’s keep those to the issues that matter most. And keep out of people’s business when it comes to religion. This is a personal aspect to people’s lives and has no place in political discourse.” Hmm, where was this statement when all the hoopla concerning Jeremiah Wright came out?)

“Latter-day Saints” and “McCain”? Nothing special. “Latter-day Saints for McCain”? No results at all.

What about the keywords “BYU” and “McCain”? Nada. “Brigham Young” and “McCain”? Nope. Certainly “Utah” and “McCain”? Sorry. Nothing. (Nothing significant, that is, for each of these.)

Let’s try Facebook. Using all the same search terms as before…

There is one group! Mormons for McCain … a whopping 6 members … and virtually no sign of life … except one “wall” writing from Feb. 21 from a fellow named Chris: “Well, seeing as Giuliani and Romney (our best candidates) are gone, I guess Im stuck with McCain…Huckabee has no chance in winning.”

So, using the same procedure for Obama, here’s what I have found (highlights):

Google (from first two pages only):

Facebook groups:

  • Mormons for Obama in 2008 (53 members)
  • Mormons for Obama (234)
  • Mormons for Obama (44)
  • Mormons for Barack Obama (38)
  • Mormon’s for Obama (6)
  • BYU Students for Barack Obama (Official Chapter) (138)
  • UVSC Students for OBAMA (13)
  • Utah State University for Obama (53)

Now, I realize that Obama is MUCH more popular on the Internet than McCain (at least on an organized level). But, the contrast is still very surprising. Who would have predicted that there would be a fairly remarkable amount of organized LDS support for the Democratic, with virtually none for the Republican?

Moreover, I am assuming that if there are in fact organized groups of Latter-day Saints for McCain, that something about them would come up from a Google search.

So, LDS McCain fans — where are you?

I invite you to join our ongoing, weekly forums regarding the presidential election (Obama fans are invited too, of course).

Perhaps you can even start up a Facebook group. How does “Mormons Stuck With McCain” sound?

Email a friend


21 Responses

  1. I haven’t heard much from the mormon contingancy as of late… i bet the people at the mill would love to see this article

  2. “McCain had said “I don’t know” if Mormons are Christians”

    In this Pew survey, Mormons are the only group listed for which 100% of members believe in God!


  3. My experience has been that the bitter fight between Romney and McCain has turned a lot of Mormons off to the old soldier (not me; I was never a Romney guy).

    The Romney campaign was very personal for many Mormons, as identity politics usually is. I often criticized this; it led to blind support for a candidate who’s history meant that he likely would not have gotten much conservative Mormon support were he not one himself. Regardless, the labels that Romney used for McCain (like ‘liberal’) and the bitter words between them have stuck with Mormons more than other Romney supporters (these are all my personal musings; I could very well be wrong).

    So, while I believe McCain was probably quite popular with Mormon conservatives before this election, they have not been quick to jump on board with him after Romney’s loss. This is unfortunate for the Republican Party and the interests of traditional Mormon conservatives, but politics isn’t often rational.

    While I’m sure there is a lot of quiet support for McCain among Mormons, these thoughts may partly explain why Mormons are not being very public for McCain. But your efforts to get them on board are admirable and appreciated.

  4. This post was so memorable for me because it was on the day of President Hinckley’s passing: Neil L. Anderson of the Presidency of the Seventy addressed a regional priesthood body on the topics of President Hinckley as well as Mitt Romney and apparently said ‘wanna see my McCain button?’

    the link:

  5. I noticed when Romney was in the running all of a sudden the political antennas went up for many of my LDS neighbors. They didn’t do any research on Mitt Romney. All they cared was he was one of us and he seemed to do a good job on the Olympics. Once he was out the antennas went back down and the sentiment is I don’t know much about any of the candidates but I’ll probably vote for McCain because he’s a republican. There is little excitement for him, however. It’s sad but it’s almost a taboo subject for women to talk politics in my neighborhood. If Romney is picked as McCain’s running mate the number of groups on the internet is sure to go up. Nevertheless, this LDS woman is excited about voting for Barack Obama!

  6. Ryan and Anna,

    Good points about Mormons and Romney. I couldn’t believe how many Mormons were gung ho about Romney and insisted that it wasn’t because he was Mormon. This may have been the case for some, but it certainly wasn’t an accident that he did so well in Utah. And certainly there is still some resentment towards McCain — though nothing close to that for Huckabee, which I find somewhat amusing. I saw McCain has being much more negative towards Romney than Huckabee. But I suppose that devil comment was the nail in the coffin.

    Anyway, the blind identity politics of Mormons to Romney is what worries me about the possibility of his being the VP. Suddenly we will have all of these Mormons crazy about McCain-Romney but with no idea why. And suddenly we will have much more (arrogant and deceptive) anti-Obama stuff among Latter-day Saints. But even if Romney is not the VP, I’m really tired of all the crap he says about Obama every day. And you can tell that he just loves it — he absolutely loves to talk trash on the Democrats, especially Obama. I wonder how much this affects Mormons who supported him…?

    I do wonder — is there more of a recognition among Latter-day Saints towards the respectability of voting Democrat? I think so. I think people are more likely to realize that they have LDS friends who are rooting for Obama, and this reality tempers the we’ll-act-like-every-Mormon-is-Republican lingo. Of course, other things that play into this are the anti-Bush sentiment and the woeful popularity of the GOP nationwide. Not to mention how the Church has been more vocal lately about this issue (that all major political parties have platforms consistent with the gospel). And, honestly, I think the Internet plays into this as well; there is more ready information that makes it clear that many respectful Latter-day Saints vote Democrat.

  7. Most of the Mormons I know who are McCain supporters do not seem to feel the need to link their Mormonism with their support for McCain. With Mormons for Obama that is a different story.

    I’ve actually been seeing much more anti-Obama than pro-McCain rhetoric from Republican Mormons (still without the tag that they are Mormons). The (Mormon) younger brother of a kid my wife went to high school with started a Facebook group called “A vote for Obama is a vote for Socialism.” A few of my wife’s English 150 students at BYU seem to believe that Obama refuses to say the pledge of allegiance. I’ve overheard a number of conversations on campus along the lines of “. . . but I just can’t bring myself to vote for Obama.”

    BTW, as far as Obama rumors like “no pledge,” I think that has the right idea.

  8. Brady,

    That Slate link is hilarious. I love the part about his name meaning “HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic.”

    I think you’re definitely right about the higher rate of anti-Obama stuff compared with pro-McCain stuff from Republican Mormons.

    This certainly is exacerbated for Latter-day Saints, I think, by a lack of enthusiasm for McCain (because of Romney) — but it follows a trend in America. I recently watched an interesting campaign strategy video by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, in which he compares enthusiasm for Obama vs. enthusiasm for McCain (among people who would vote for them). I don’t remember the exact figures, but it’s something like 80% for the former and less than 40% for the latter.

    Also, about anti-Obama stuff, things are going just as I predicted. This election is all about Obama. McCain has already put out three Internet attack ads on Obama (in which absolutely nothing is said about McCain). Expect for things to get worse.

  9. I thought you might be interested to know there’s another Mormon-oriented blog–mine–at .

    Also, I mention him a bit on my other blog:

  10. Thanks Bruce for the links!

    Feel free to chime in our weekly McCain-Obama forums.


    Are Mormons Christian?

    “I don’t know.”
    -John McCain

    “He’s a Mormon for crying out loud — that’s essentially a cult.”
    -John McCain’s advisor, Chuck Larson

    “A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan.”
    -Republican Evangelical Preacher, Bill Keller

    “Our concern was simply that Mormonism has continued to try and pass itself off as a Christian religion, which it is not.”
    -Republican Christian Pastor, Monte Knudsen

    John McCain’s presidential campaign advisor Chad Workman has questioned whether Mormons are Christians, discussed an article alleging that the Mormon Church helps fund Hamas, and likened the Mormons’ treatment of women to the Taliban’s treatment of women.

    A story circulated through Rudy Giuliani’s campaign claiming that Romney was the fulfillment of a loosely held Mormon prophecy that a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would one day save the Constitution.

    This is BROCK VERLE SKIDMORE. Mormons should vote their faith above their party affiliations. McCain and other Republicans tell America that we are not Christian. So, we are good enough to vote Republican, but not good enough to lead Republican? So, we are not equal to mainstream Conservative Republican Christianity? We all know how it feels to be accused of not being real Christians and it hurts. We have consistently had to spend time and energy defending our religion to Republican Christians that tell us who we are.

    Voting Republican is an acknowledgement that we are not Christians and a passive acceptance of the overt discrimination of our people. As much as we would like to believe, we are not mainstream and we are proud of it. Our religion is unique and our heritage is proud. Faced with persecution for our religious beliefs, we have maintained our faith. When we are voting NOVEMBER 4TH, let us consider the fact that mainstream Christian Republicans will happily accept our vote, but will in large part continue to mock and discriminate against Mormons based on our religious beliefs.

    We are a minority group. We share beliefs that do not line up in exact form with mainstream Christianity. Do not support a group that does not support us. Do not be push overs like Mitt Romney and allow ourselves to be outcasts in our own Republican party. Romney had a real opportunity to stand up for his Mormon faith and he disappointed many of us. Do not make the same mistake. The Democratic party welcomes all minority groups including Mormons. For Mormons, voting Republican is voting against our own best interest. Mormons somehow got caught up in thinking that we are conservative, when in fact we are liberal. Belief in our Mormon faith should come before any political loyalty. Vote for Democrats. Vote for Barack Hussein Obama. Trust me. Trust Brock Verle Skidmore. I am proud of being Mormon as it has stayed with me through baptism, priesthood ordinances, temple work, a patriarchal blessing, a decision to bypass missionary proselyting service, a brief psychosis and stay at a psychiatric ward, formally and administratively removing my name from the church records, fatherhood, and living the principles of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Through it all, I realized that it did not matter how far I strayed, how rebellious I became, how much I tried to remove myself from my Mormon upbringing….I am still Mormon and will always remain so. I do not shun it as I did in the past, I embrace it.

    I challenge you to think with your brain and feel with your heart what is the right choice in this election. For us Mormons, the right choice could not be more clear. If you read this far, bless you. If you didn’t read this far, bless you. My God is directing my path and it is leading to cultural, religious, and racial unity and peace and joy. As Latter Day Saints, this is one of the greatest callings of our latter days. Forward this message to Mormons all across the World Wide Web. After all, it is only fair that you do so because I forwarded all the initial fear geared emails “MUSLIM BARACK HUSSIEN OBAMA”. Or not. Take care.

    From your Latter Day Saints of JESUS CHRIST brother,

    Brock Verle Skidmore

  12. I’m having a hard time believing that Mr. Skidmore here is a real person …

  13. Wait… he removed his name from the records, and is still a member of the church? Or did he just leave out his reconversion story?

    Mormonism, if such a term has meaning, is something we do, not something we “just are” that sticks with us.

    Dennis, I too have doubts.

  14. I wanted everyone to know I’ve added more stuff to my political blog: (including a piece I call “Religion and politics: especially for Latter-day Saints”


    I wrote an editorial for the Daily Universe that was published on September 15:

  15. It is the eleventh hour but I have just discovered this site. I am not an LDS, but come in peace . I am a Christian, but not one with a church affiliation. Although registered as an Independent, I usually vote Republican, usually because of taxes and abortion. I used to vote the person, rather than the party, but no longer seems an option.

    The reason I’m commenting here is to ask a question–honestly and respectfully.

    I can certainly understand anyone of your faith feeling hostile towards anyone, in any group, who would accuse you of the things quoted here. No arguments. I can also understand not wanting to vote for someone(s) who spoke of you out of such ignorance. I have a few issues with McCain myself.

    But what I don’t understand, and I would sincerely like to, is how anyone, could vote for someone who is so extremely pro-abortion as Obama: he promised the first thing he would do if elected would be to sign Freedom of Choice Act allowing partial birth abortions, prohibiting parental notification, and removing all restrictions to abortion on demand, especially since the same person feels an unplanned pregnancy is a “punishment” and did not vote to support the Born Alive act.

    Am I misguided in thinking that this goes against the very core of LDS? If so, that not more important than any other issue in this election?

    Thank you

  16. Donna,

    I appreciate your comment, and I hope you continue to feel welcome here.

    First, let me say that, as far as I know, most Latter-day Saints who are for Obama are not for him because of anything McCain has said about Mormons. This might have been the case if Huckabee was not the nominee, but not McCain. It is true that a lot of Mormons don’t seem to be terribly fond of McCain (and the Romney fallout certainly has a lot to do with this), but I doubt that someone would vote for Obama because of this. So, most Mormons are for McCain, but it seems like not many are terribly excited about him.

    I appreciate your sincerity on the abortion question. Unfortunately there is hardly ever productive dialogue on this issue because everyone is eager to make a villain out of the other side. I encourage you to check out our conversation on McCain, Obama, and abortion. This will help you to see how some Latter-day Saints who are strongly pro-life are nonetheless backing Obama.

    Latter-day Saints believe that abortion is wrong and its members are prohibited from having or participating in an abortion for any reason other than rape, incest, the health or life of the mother, or a non-viable fetus. Even in these cases, exceptions should not be automatic, but only after consultation with the Lord and one’s ecclesiastical leaders. Latter-day Saints who do not follow these guidelines are subject to Church discipline (likely disfellowship or excommunication, which is meant to be temporary as long as individuals want to repent and remain in the Church).

    As far as I am aware, the Church does not have an official political stance on abortion. However, the vast majority of active Latter-day Saints are pro-life. Including me and probably nearly all LDS Obama supporters. Considering that the LDS position allows for exceptions, however, Latter-day Saints typically have more moderate pro-life views than the official “no exceptions” platform of the RNC.

    I would argue that, yes, elective abortion is against “the very core of LDS.” For this reason, many Latter-day Saints would never even consider voting for a pro-choice candidate. I think that most Latter-day Saints, however, see it as one important position out of many.

    Here is what is SO important about abortion issues: There are two general areas that are important when discussing abortion. The first is legal and the second is social. One thing that you won’t hear the Republicans talk about is that current abortion rates are about the same as they were before Roe v. Wade. In other words, reversing Roe v. Wade might do hardly anything when it comes to actually reducing abortions. Thus, anyone who is truly pro-life would not be comforted all that much over a mere legal procedure. The reality is, if abortions are truly to be reduced, it will require social policies that you see the Democratic Party — not the Republican Party — in favor of (e.g., universal health care, a living wage for working Americans, and family-friendly solutions and interventions). None of this means that the legality of Roe v. Wade is not important (I think it is), but it does mean that it is not sufficient. But here’s the rub: if Roe v. Wade were reversed and everyone realizes that we still have major abortion problems to deal with — the GOP will not exemplify the principles that are needed to deal with these problems! Thus, some have argued, the GOP actually has an investment to keep pro-life initiatives on their agenda but then do nothing about it! Many have argued that this is the current state of affairs with the GOP. Interestingly, abortions went down during the Clinton administration and up during the Bush administration.

    So, I think that the Republican Party holds up the Roe v. Wade issue as a seductive (but in the end illusive) bait for social conservatives who otherwise would swing Democrat. Sadly, most have taken the bait, including most Mormons.

    I think that Obama will actually do more to help Americans reduce abortions than will McCain. For more on this issue, as well as your concerns with the Freedom of Choice Act, I encourage you to check out this document from Catholics for Obama, entitled “The Catholic Case for Obama.” Also, check out this interview with Catholic legal scholar Doug Kmiec.

  17. What a thoughtful response. Thank you. I am not sure I can concur with your conclusions, as outlined in the last three paragraphs, but since this is a new perspective for me, I will need to give it some thought.
    I am familiar with Doug Kmiec and don’t think he presents a very convincing argument.
    Thanks again. I appreciate your taking my question seriously.

  18. Thanks, Donna,

    By the way, I just put the links in for my last comment (they might not have been there when you first read it).

    I don’t know much about Kmiec — I think the “Catholic Case” document is more convincing, though.

  19. I mentioned “The Catholic Case for Obama” document in my above comment. But I was so intrigued by this passage from the document (pp. 19-22), I am quoting it here:

    The abortion issue has become a significant focus of attention for Roman Catholics over the past three U.S. presidential elections. Beginning in 2000, the Republican National Committee embarked on an aggressive, expensive effort to recruit Catholics away from their traditional home in the Democratic Party. Prior to that, the two political parties were less polarized on the issue. Republican President Gerald Ford was opposed to the criminalization of abortion. Ronald Reagan signed one of the most permissive abortion laws in the country when he was governor of California after a very public and extensive consultation with clergymen, physicians and psychiatrists. George H.W. Bush had long indicated he was “pro-choice” before he ran for president in 1988.

    At the time of the 1992 presidential election, it was not acknowledged that abortion rates had already begun a downward trend. The Clinton administration began to draw connections between the risk of HIV infection and unprotected sex, at a time when there was no treatment for AIDS. As a result of a public education campaign that coincided with the Clinton years, sexual practices of young people in the United States changed dramatically; within ten years the abortion rates for white women had fallen by half (from 22 to 11 per thousand reproductive-age women per year). President Clinton talked about making abortion “safe, legal and rare,” and he had a record of effectiveness on the issue.

    Although George W. Bush had had a similar history of ambivalent statements about abortion during his gubernatorial campaigns, the issue seemed to acquire a new conservative caché in his frequent nuanced references to abortion during his presidential campaign in 2000. In videotaped remarks to the Christian Coalition that year, he said, “I know good people disagree on this issue, but surely we can agree on ways to value life by promoting adoption and parental notification.” Although he often said that “every child, born and unborn, ought to be protected in law and welcomed into life,”[20] he was often ambiguous when questioned about whether he thought abortion should be illegal. He was asked directly in a Presidential Debate on Oct 13, 2004 in Arizona if he would like to overturn Roe vs. Wade. He declined to answer the question, saying only that he would not use a litmus test in selecting judges. In that debate he went on to mirror what came to be Barack Obama’s position today on abortion, saying “Surely there are ways we can work together to reduce the number of abortions: continue to promote adoption laws – that’s a great alternative to abortion. Continue to fund and promote maternity group homes. I will continue to promote abstinence programs.” Then he concluded, “All of us ought to be involved with programs that provide a viable alternative to abortion.”[21]

    In terms of legislation, Republicans in Congress pushed through four “antiabortion” bills during the first Bush term that were explicitly designed to label Democrats as the “pro-abortion party.” These bills included a law restricting the transport by a non-parent of minors across state lines for an abortion, the Partial Birth Abortion ban (2003) and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (2004). There is no data to suggest that any of these laws have had any measurable affect on the number of abortions in any state, and supporters of these laws didn’t pretend that they would actually affect abortion rates. It is telling that no federal legislation restricting abortion was debated in Congress during the second Bush term. Many of Karl Rove’s critics have suggested that Republicans have little incentive to outlaw abortion, since doing so would remove a major stimulus for political donations and volunteers. Indeed, despite having a plank in their platform every four years since the 1970s supporting a Constitutional ban on abortions, the Republicans have not introduced such legislation in the past 25 years (the 1983 bill was co-sponsored by a Democrat).

    After President Bush took office, the Centers for Disease Control moved the publication date for their abortion data to the (post-election) Friday after Thanksgiving, the slowest news day of the year. Consequently, there have been virtually no news stories over the past eight years chronicling the slowing in the progress against abortion, with an actual increase in the 2003 rate and other set-backs that included the first increase in teen pregnancy rates in 15 years in the most recent data.[22]

    Once President Bush was in office, Catholic conservatives began having weekly conference calls with Karl Rove, discussing ways to further alienate Catholic Democrats and Independents from the Democratic Party.[23] In 2004, the Bush Campaign invested tens of millions of dollars to pay organizers to register voters in front of Catholic churches, in violation of guidelines put out by the US Bishops that forbid such efforts by political parties. Thousands of volunteers were mobilized to put anti-abortion flyers on car windshields in Catholic church parking lots across the swing states on the Sunday before the election in 2004, contributing to the pro-Bush effort in an election in which the majority of non-Latino Catholics voted for the Republican candidate for the first time since 1988—ironically favoring him over a fellow Catholic.

    In the summer of 2004 a seminary ethics professor, Dr. Glen Stassen, assembled the limited available public data on abortion rates from the first term of the Bush Administration. He published several articles suggesting that President Bush had overseen a reversal in the progress against abortion attained during the Clinton Administration.[24] Anti-abortion groups might have been expected to express concern and to seek greater openness from the Bush Administration about the unavailable national abortion data at the time. But instead the National Right to Life Committee mounted a concerted effort to attack Dr. Stassen personally, calling him a stand-in for the Democrats, and belittling the entire thesis.[25] Dr. Stassen pointed out poignantly that such an attack in response to his findings about abortion rates “separates those who want to reduce abortions from people who want to defend this Republican administration.”[24]

    Following the polarizing 2004 election, the Democratic leadership in Congress took a more activist stance in addressing the abortion problem. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) fashioned legislation that would dramatically lower abortion rates by addressing the health and economic needs of women and their children. Although the Bush Administration substantially increased funding for “abstinence-only sex education” and a variety of church-sponsored crisis pregnancy centers, in October 2007 President Bush vetoed Democratic prevention legislation that would have explicitly worked through economic measures to decrease abortions.

    Currently pending bills sponsored by Congressional Democrats include the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act (HR 1074, known as the DeLauro-Ryan bill) and the Prevention First Act bill (HR 819). Congressional Democrats have also worked on making other alternatives more attractive with the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 (Public Law No: 108-145), championed by Senator Hillary Clinton. Democrats for Life have made an important contribution with their advocacy of the Pregnant Women Support Act, a measure encouraged by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It aims to reduce the abortion rate in America by 95 percent in 10 years by enacting the social and economic supports that actually do something to help women avoid this difficult ordeal.

  20. What is at stake here in very simple terms is by our vote we either choose to vote for the right of a citizen of these United States to govern our own lives or we give that right to the government.

    So far my vote goes for smaller government and the lesser of two ills – McCain and Pallen.

    I believe I have and should have the right to choose how to spend my own hard earned money and choose to whom I wish to help with it. That is my privilege and not the right of government to decide for me who I should give my money to.

    It saddens me to see how our constitution is ignored we were never meant to be a democarcy…..but a free republic and now I see our consitution hanging by a thread as we move towards solicalist ideas.

    Obama is correct on one issue a progressive tax system does the same thing as his idea to spread the wealth.

    If you want to see how far our country has gone down the road of socialism read the Communist Manefesto. it is an eye opener.

    No matter what party you belong to vote for the constitution and right now the only part who even comes close to upholding it is the republican party (as far as canidates go)

    God Help us all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: