A new Associated Press dispatch begins thusly:
One in four people in the U.S. said in a recent poll that they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who is Mormon, an ominous sign for Republican contender Mitt Romney.
To see how ominous it really is, I dug up the numbers–a Pew poll–and in the process I found the previous Pew survey. Of note: In February, 30 percent said they’d be less likely to support a number. But of course the AP’s lead was not “Voter hostility to hypothetical Mormon presidential candidate decreases by one-sixth as real Mormon presidential candidate gains visibility, support.”
It’s also worth realizing that the February Pew poll found equal voter concern over some other candidate attributes. For instance, 25 percent said they were less likely to support someone who had been a minister, 39 percent said the same about someone who had had an extramarital affair, and 48 percent about someone in his 70s.
Before calling for the smelling salts, the AP would’ve done well to report the context.