A reader writes:
As a believing, practicing Mormon AND Democrat, I would argue that most Democrats aren't biased against Mormons per se – any more than some within the Democratic tent are biased against ALL organized religion (as Peter Beinart pointed out). I think the real issue is the LDS church has become, like it or not, strongly and predictibly affiliated with the Republican party (thanks to the political evangelicism of Ezra Taft Benson and others). So essentially these polls are saying, "as Democrat … would you consider voting for a Republican?" It isn't religious bias or bigotry as much as political self-interest that causes many to pause and say "NO".
Obviously, I am oversimplifying things, but it exposes the dangers any religion faces when it or its members become too closely aligned with the platform of ANY political party.
A long-time Mormon reader here. I feel one small correction is necessary in the post about Romney's Mormon roots, specifically mentioning that he is descended from Parley P. Pratt (or Big P3, as my friends and I called him growing up). You wrote, "Romney really is LDS monarchy, his family going back deep into the heart of the religion's history." Now, Romney is a rather high-profile LDS figure, but calling him "LDS monarchy" is a bit much, and it likely has little (or nothing) to do with his ancestry.
I won't say that being descended from church leaders has nothing to do with leadership positions in the church (it definitely did in the early days of the church, and may happen sometimes these days), but because so many were polygamist and had so many children, so many people are descended from those early leaders.
That includes myself: I have several high-ranking ancestors who are mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants (a canonized collection of Joseph Smith's revelations), but have never once thought of myself as "LDS Monarchy." Romney's high status in the church is from his leadership positions (Bishop and Stake President), as previously noted by others, and not because of his pedigree.
Parley Pratt is also Jon Huntsman's great-great-great-grandfather. I guess that kind of thing happens when you have 266 grandchildren …