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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 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments