June 22nd, 2011
05:36 PM ET

Can a Mormon be elected President of the United States?


(L to R) Obama, Kennedy, Romney, Huntsman. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A lot of people didn't think Barack Obama could win the White House in 2008, because he's black. But he did. In 1960, a lot of people didn't think John F. Kennedy could be elected president, because he was Roman Catholic. But he was.

According to the Pew Research Center, voters' attitudes toward candidates who are black, female, Catholic or Jewish have changed. Americans have warmed up to the idea of voting for someone who might be different from previous presidents or different from themselves.

But that doesn't necessarily hold true for all minority groups. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the current Republican front-runner, and a new entrant to the race, former Utah Gov. and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, are Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It's a church many Christians, particularly evangelicals, are skeptical of. Most people don't know much more about it beyond the church's former ties with polygamy. But whatever people know or don't know about Mormons, they aren't necessarily trustful of them. According to a Gallup poll, 22 percent of Americans say they would not vote for a Mormon for president, even if that candidate represented the voter's own party.

Huntsman is reportedly the less religious of the two. He told Fortune magazine last year, "I can't say I'm overly religious. I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies."

Romney, on the other hand, is more active in his church. He was once a lay bishop of Massachusetts' temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spoke openly about his religion during his 2008 run for the presidency, and critics feel that speech ultimately killed his chances.

Here’s my question to you: Can a Mormon be elected President of the United States?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2012 Election
June 22nd, 2011
05:00 PM ET

If President Obama's approval rating doesn't rise above 45 percent, can he be reelected?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While America's fixating on numbers from President Obama in his speech tonight on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, like how many troops are coming home and by when, the president and his re-election team are probably stuck on a very different set of figures.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/06/22/art.obama.jpg caption=""]
For example, 43 percent, the president's daily job approval rating according to Gallup. It's been moving down this week. And 49 percent, the percentage of Americans who disapprove of the job he is doing. They aren't very good numbers.

Here's another number that's probably going to keep the Obama reelection campaign awake at night: 30 percent. That's the very small percentage of Americans who say they are certain they would vote to re-elect President Obama come next November. And 36 percent, the percentage who say they definitely won't cast a vote for four more years of his presidency. These stats come from a new Bloomberg National Poll. Here's one more from the same poll, maybe the worst one of all: 66 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

It's a tight spot for President Obama to be in. So much of his sinking poll numbers has to do with the economy and the lack of real recovery we've seen during his term. But it also has to do with the four wars we are fighting and the nation's growing deficit too.

What it doesn't have much to do with is Obama's potential Republican opponents. No one in that lackluster field is really getting the voting population excited. And that might be the only thing that's keeping the president in the 2012 race at this point.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?