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Do Mormons Really Vote More Biblically Than Self-Described Evangelicals?

Ted Cruz
Was Ted Cruz's victory in Utah the result of Mormons who voted biblically, or because he was the most viable alternative to Donald Trump? (Reuters photo)

Last month, when U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) overwhelmingly won in Utah, it was suggested that perhaps Mormons—who make up a supermajority of the voters in that state—were "more biblical" in their voting than self-described evangelicals.

As we have analyzed before, the self-description of evangelicals is rife with error, both for those who are self-describing themselves, and for those who are attempting to keep track. This type of labeling has resulted in some dizzying statistics, as well.

But when we've looked closer at the issue, we see that so far, the "evangelical support" for Donald Trump hasn't been any greater than it has been for other eventual Republican presidential nominees. And it appears, most truly evangelical voters haven't been paying attention to the primary race.

It appears those who are advancing the idea that "Mormons are voting more biblically than evangelicals" are those who are attempting to equate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with evangelical Christianity—like radio host Glenn Beck and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney—who are themselves Mormons. Most evangelical denominations have a differing opinion.

The issue, however, could have been more about who the Mormons were voting for and less about how they were voting. Arguably, Trump had a number of missteps when it came to reaching out to potential Mormon voters, all of which was laid out quasi-officially on the website.

Many of Trump's policies—as well as the tone of his campaign—would be anathema to everything the LDS preaches due to past persecution and their global mission work. Cruz, arguably, is the most viable alternative to Trump in the race.

So, one could just as easily argue Cruz's Utah win was the product of anti-Trump sentiment. The problem with both theses is that only the voter and God know what was truly in his or her heart when the vote was cast.

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