Poll: 18 Percent Would Not Vote for a Mormon President

Eighteen percent of Americans say they wouldn't vote for a well-qualified presidential candidate who is a Mormon, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

The bias against a Mormon candidate has remained essentially unchanged since 1967, when Romney's late father -- former Michigan Gov. George Romney -- was running for president. The total was 17 percent when Gallup asked the question back then.

Still, 80 percent of those polled said that they would vote for a "generally well-qualified" Mormon candidate, up 5 percentage points from 45 years ago.

The poll has been taken every time there was a major Mormon candidate on the ticket — the elder Romney in 1967, Orrin Hatch in 2000, and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. Bias was slightly higher at 24 percent in 2008.

Poeple with more post-high school education were less likely to hold the same biases as those with just a high school education. Twenty-three percent of high school graduates said they would not vote for a Mormon candidate, while only 6 percent of postgrads held that bias.

Some analysts suggested during the Republican primary process that Romney's religion could be a handicap among evangelical Christians. The poll found no difference in bias among Catholics, Protestants and those with no religious identity.

The poll of 1,004 adults was conducted June 7-10. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.