According to a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent of Mormons approve of President Trump’s job, an approval number higher than any other religious demographic and his national approval rating of 39 percent. BYU-Hawaii students and religion faculty attributed these results to the LDS tendency to vote Republican, Trump’s views on religion, and Mormon culture.
“If that many Mormons approve of him, I don’t think they know what he’s doing,” said McKayla Caress, a senior from Nevada studying political science. “I think it’s too easy to follow into the party of the Republicans because many Mormons are. They stick by that rather than really digging deep into what his policies are, how he’s treating people, and how he presents himself.
“They are too scared to go outside of that ideology that they think they’re in, because they’re Mormon, because they have to. It really stinks that people get stuck in that and not look outside the box and think, ‘What is right for me, for the people I live with, and for my country?’ I think they get lost in parties instead of ideology.”
Dr. Keith Lane, an associate professor of Religion, said, “The support for Trump among Mormons as revealed in the last poll was, to many, puzzling and perhaps disappointing, though not entirely unexpected because a large majority of Latter-day Saints tend to be strongly Republican. It should also be noted, however, that some of the strongest opposition to President Trump from those of his own party have come from two prominent public figures who are LDS: Mitt Romney and Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.
Rulon Olmstead, an alumnus from Utah who graduated in math and is a self-described Trump supporter, cited Trump’s party affiliation and treatment of the prophet as reasons for LDS approval. “[Trump] is very big on freedom of religion. He acknowledged and said nice things about President Monson when he passed. Other than that, it is probably simply that he ran as a Republican.
“I don’t necessarily think that Republicans are the best representation of Mormons, but if there are two options, it does seem that Mormons lean right. The church doesn’t endorse any candidates, and as individuals I hope Mormons choose the best candidate and not just vote straight Republican. More so, I wish we could lose the Republican stigma and have more.
References and other Information on Mormons and politics:
Mormonis typically approve of conserative leaders: