Texas Liberal

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Mitt Romney Not First Mormon Running For President To Rack Up Second Place Finishes

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney finished second in the Republican New Hampshire primary yesterday. This comes after his second place finish in the Iowa caucus last week.

Governor Romney had invested a great deal of money in both states, but was unable to win. The people did not want him.

Governor Romney is not the first Mormon candidate for President to run up a string of second place finishes in the Presidential nominating process.

In 1976, Democratic Representative Morris K. Udall (photo above) of Arizona finished second in six primaries without winning a single one. He finished third in seven primaries.

Rep. Udall was a Mormon.   

In New Hampshire, Rep. Udall lost to Jimmy Carter 28% to 23%. Birch Bayh of Indiana ran third with 15%.

Morris K. Udall was a great liberal.  

However, running second does not get the job done—As Governor Romney is finding out.

As far as I can recall or read, Udall’s Mormonism was not an issue in 1976.

This may have been because religion was not the same kind of issue it is today, and because the Democratic primary electorate in 1976 did not have a religious litmus test for candidates the way the Republican electorate does in 2008.

Udall’s brother Stewart was Secretary of the Interior for President Kennedy.

Two Udalls serve in the House of Representatives today.

Democrat Mark Udall, son of Mo, represents the second district of Colorado. This district is focused on western suburbs of Denver and on Boulder.

Mark Udall is running for Senate to win the seat of retiring Republican Senator Wayne Allard.   

Stewart’s son, Democrat Tom Udall, represents New Mexico’s third district in the U.S. House. This district includes Santa Fe, Clovis and much of the top one-third of New Mexico.  

This Udall is also running for the U.S. Senate. He is running for the seat being vacated by Republican Pete Domenici.

A Udall cousin is Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon. Senator Smith will hopefully be defeated for reelection in 2008.

1/16/08—Update—Romney has broken the Udall/Mormon curse and won the Michgan primary.

January 9, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I guess he is too far out even for the idiots that voted bush in.

    Comment by bill brady | January 9, 2008

  2. While Liberals are, by definition, godless and don’t have a religious “litmus” test (unless you’re a born again Christian, then they don’t want you), Conservatives DO have a litmus test. They think that a man’s religion matters and affects his character.

    The biggest problem with Mormonism for Conservatives is the oath of allegiance Mormons swear to their church (leaders), which former Mormons are trying to warn us about. Then there’s the Mormon claim to be Christian and that they believe every word of the Bible, which Conservative Christians find both offensive and deceptive.

    While I was barely conscious of politics in 1976 (I remember the gas lines in 73), I don’t recall the word “Mormon” being mentioned during Udall’s bid either. However, that was old media. This is now with the new media. Now with the internet, more light is shining on Utah, Utah politics and Mormonism. It’s not pretty.

    For example, from local talk radio, Mormonism was a BIG problem for Republican Matt Salmon in Arizona. (Arizona is adjacent Utah and has few prominent Mormon enclaves.) As people educate themselves more and more about Mormonism and the Law of Consecration, it will be more and more of a problem for Mitt Romney. Indeed, he’s not popular – he’d be out of money if he wasn’t tithing to himself – and you see that played out as doesn’t win.

    For lots of documentation from a Conservative, check out


    Like Mormonism, the blog isn’t what it seems.

    (Lot’s of funny photo’s too!)

    Comment by mish | January 10, 2008

  3. I don’t think Romney’s problem with GOP voters is his religion; it’s the fact that he’s a tool. Even more than most politicians, he’s a transparent creature of ambition. He hedged his bets on whether he lived in Utah or Massachusetts when considering a run for governor. Once elected Governor of Massachusetts, running as a fiscal conservative/social libertarian Republican (The only hope of winning as a Republican in Massachusetts), he almost immediately became a social conservative and, preparing for his presidential run, went around the country badmouthing the state he’d just been elected to govern.

    Even Massachusetts Republicans hate the guy, because he did nothing to build their moribund party when he was a newly-elected, popular governor with a good haircut and might have conceivably done them some good.

    Comment by Brendan | January 10, 2008

  4. Bill—Romney does seem so sleazy that not even Republicans can get on board.

    Mish—How do you know that liberals are Godless? Did He speak to you and tell you?

    In any case, I bet liberals today would vote for a liberal Mormon, while some on the right would not vote for Romney even if they otherwise agreed with his views.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 10, 2008

  5. Brendan—I think your view has much merit based on what I’ve read on his time as Governor. He seemed always for himself.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 10, 2008

  6. I think mish is saying that is the impression of liberals not mish’s veiw. i think that over 90% believe in god in the liberal party. I am the 10% that thinks its a good story but need some photographs to convince me. or the ark, the parting of the red sea would be cool. mish is this your opinion or the veiw of the right of liberals? I like how the republicans hijacked jesus from the left. Where is the outrage for the christian left to be constantly told they are godless? I am godless that is fact.

    Comment by bill brady | January 11, 2008

  7. I am a Mormon (we prefer the term Latter-day Saint, or LDS, derived from the actual name of our church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and I think that Mitt’s religion is a big problem for a lot of Conservative voters. If you want proof just look at mish’s comment. I also agree that Mitt has been changing his stance on issues in his ambitious run for the presidency, but I think he was driven to it by the prejudices of the American people. Poll’s show that voter’s would be less likely to vote for a Latter-day Saint than an African American or a woman. There is not nearly as big of a social stigma against anti-Mormons as there is against racists and sexists.
    I don’t think liberals are immune from this bigotry because they tend to lump Latter-day Saints in with others who tend to have socially conservative views, like born again Christians.

    Comment by Daniel | January 12, 2008

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