WASHINGTON - A new survey finds that most Americans don't relate to Mitt Romney's religion but that may not matter in his race against President Barack Obama.
The poll, by the Pew Research Center, shows misgivings about the Mormon faith are widespread and persistent. Nearly two-thirds of non-Mormons said they see Romney's faith as very different from their own while just half consider it a Christian faith.
Sixty percent of registered voters know Romney is a Mormon, about the same as in a March poll. Nine percent think he follows another faith and 32 percent weren't sure.
Discomfort with Romney's faith peaks among several groups not often on the same side in politics: white evangelical Protestants, black Protestants, atheists and agnostics. White evangelical Protestants broadly back Romney for president despite their misgivings about his religious background, while the other groups are far more likely to support Obama.
Overall, the poll found Obama holding a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Romney.
With regard to Obama, the poll found that misperceptions about his faith persist.
About half of registered voters correctly say Obama is a Christian. Seventeen percent misidentify him as a Muslim, 3 percent say he adheres to some other faith and 31 percent say they are unsure.
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