Mitigating mormonism: Overcoming religious identity challenges with targeted appeals
A persistent challenge for minority candidates is mitigating negative effects attributed to their unpopular group identity. This was precisely the case for Mitt Romney, a Mormon, as he sought and captured the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. We draw on existing public opinion data about the tepid reaction to Romney's Mormonism from within Republican ranks. Then, we review our own experimental data to examine a potential mitigation strategy, God Talk, and its emotional costs to the GOP. We find that Romney and similar candidates may avoid direct penalty by party rank-and-file for their minority attributes when using God Talk, but the associated affective response supporters direct at their party may carry yet-unknown putative costs for both party and candidate.
Calfano, Brian Robert, Amanda Friesen, and Paul A. Djupe. "Mitigating Mormonism: Overcoming religious identity challenges with targeted appeals." PS, Political Science & Politics 46, no. 3 (2013): 562.
PS - Political Science and Politics