Among John McCain’s former competitors for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney has been most outspokenly supportive. As the God-o-Meter noted, the two men recently traded compliments during a McCain fundraiser in Massachusetts, where Romney served a single-term as governor until 2006. And such shows of goodwill have raised the question of whether McCain might pick Romney, a Mormon who also has deep ties to Michigan, as his running mate.

But an impressively extensive and in-depth poll about Americans’ religious identities, beliefs and political preferences, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, strongly suggests McCain would gain little bounce among Romney’s co-religionists were he to select him as his veep. The simple reason is that the overwhelming majority of Mormons already identify as Republicans.

According to the poll, fully 65 percent of Mormons either say they are Republicans or “lean” that way. (Only 22 percent said they are or lean Democratic.) No other religious group comes close. Members of evangelical churches told Pew they identified with the GOP by a 50 percent to 34 percent split.

The most Democratic of America’s religious groups? Members of historically black churches, 77 percent to 10 percent, followed by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews, within each of whom about a two-thirds proportion claimed to be Democrats or to lean that way.

Pew reported getting the results from interviews with 35,000 people.



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