Change of heart

Mitt just won a major Christian conservative straw poll. See the story here.

Out of all this, I think the most interesting thing is the following couple of sentences:

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that Americans’ attitudes toward Mormonism appear to be changing.

Half of those surveyed last weekend considered Mormons Christian, up from 34 percent last year.

Now, I am someone who is typically skeptical of poll results. After all, I don’t believe that CNN and their polling partner went out and found the exact same people who were polled last year and an additional 17% of them had warmed up to Mormons. But the Church is obviously making a serious public relations push coinciding with the Romney candidacy. The new press section of the LDS.org home page is one example. Another I noticed is that one session of this last conference (Saturday afternoon?) had 3-4 talks that were at least impliedly public relations-driven (Ballard, Holland, Nelson, Wirthlin). So this makes me wonder- is all the effort bearing fruit? After 150 years of being treated as a bunch of heretics, did acceptance of Mormonism as a Christian denomination suddenly jump 17% in one year? Like I said, on matters of polling, I remain a skeptic. But any poll that registers 50% of non-Mormon Americans accepting Mormons as Christians is significant in my mind.

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