FNC Notes Democrats 'Least Tolerant' of Mormons While Nets Focus on GOP

While morning and evening newscasts from all three broadcast networks in the last few days have focused on anti-Mormon sentiment within the Republican Party that may hinder Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier on Monday noted that self-identified Republican voters are substantially more willing to accept a Mormon President compared to Democrats.

FNC correspondent Carl Cameron observed that Democrats are "least tolerant" compared to Republicans and independents as he recounted the findings of a Quinnipiac poll:

But a Quinnipiac poll of voters taken this year says fully 68 percent of Republicans are comfortable with a Mormon President, as are 64 percent of independents. Democrats are the least tolerant, with 49 percent comfortable with a Mormon President.

By contrast, on Monday's Good Morning America, ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl cited an ABC News poll as he only recounted numbers for Republicans:

In an ABC News poll earlier this year, the overwhelming majority of Republicans said a candidate's faith should not be a factor, but 20 percent - that's one out of every five - said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate if he is Mormon.

On the previous night's World News Sunday, ABC's David Kerley had similarly resisted divulging the views of Democrats:

DAVID KERLEY: We crunched the numbers from four years ago. With nearly half of the Republican primary defining themselves as evangelicals, only 20 percent of them voted for Romney.

...

DAVID MUIR: David, you mentioned where evangelicals stand, but Americans as a whole, have they moved at all, in your opinion, on the Mormon faith?

KERLEY: They have. The Republicans have, as well, David. In fact, our latest poll showed about 20 percent of those leaning Republican say they are less likely to vote for a Mormon, but, back in 2008, that number was 36 percent, so it certainly has dropped significantly. But for Romney, it's those evangelicals he's got to deal with.

On Monday's The Early Show on CBS, correspondent Whit Johnson noted polling on Republican voters from four years ago after Mitt Romney gave a speech addressing his religious beliefs, and more recently:

Polls after that speech showed that 52 percent of Republican primary voters said that most people they knew would vote for a Mormon. [52 percent say yes, 33 percent no] Fast forward four years, and not much has changed, with about half saying the same. [45 percent say yes, 36 percent no]

On Sunday's Today show, after noting that in 2007 Romney had to reassure "conservative doubters," NBC's Mike Viqueira showed on screen the poll numbers on the views toward Mormons of several religious groups, as he highlightd the views of evangelical Christians:

A recent survey shows about a third of white evangelicals would be less likely to support a candidate if they were Mormon. Despite the efforts of Romney and others, those numbers have hardly changed since the last campaign.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of several stories from ABC, CBS, NBC and FNC from Sunday and Monday:

#From the Monday, October 10, Good Morning America on ABC:

JONATHAN KARL: In an ABC News poll earlier this year, the overwhelming majority of Republicans said a candidate's faith should not be a factor, but  20 percent - that's one out of every five - said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate if he is Mormon. And, George, on Sunday, both Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain were directly asked if Mormons are Christians, and both of them declined to answer that question directly.

#From the October 9, World News Sunday on ABC:

DAVID KERLEY: We crunched the numbers from four years ago. With nearly half of the Republican primary defining themselves as evangelicals, only 20 percent of them voted for Romney.

...

DAVID MUIR: David, you mentioned where evangelicals stand, but Americans as a whole, have they moved at all, in your opinion, on the Mormon faith?

KERLEY: They have. The Republicans have, as well, David. In fact, our latest poll showed about 20 percent of those leaning Republican say they are less likely to vote for a Mormon, but, back in 2008, that number was 36 percent, so it certainly has dropped significantly. But for Romney, it's those evangelicals he's got to deal with.

#From the Monday, October 10, The Early Show on CBS:

WHIT JOHNSON: This issue has followed Romney since his first run for President in 2008. He attempted to quell the concerns then with a speech on faith in America.

MITT ROMNEY: Let me assure you that no authorities at my church or any other church for that matter will ever exert influence on presidential decisions.JOHNSON: Polls after that speech showed that 52 percent of Republican primary voters said that most people they knew would vote for a Mormon. [52 percent say yes, 33 percent no] Fast forward four years, and not much has changed, with about half saying the same. [45 percent say yes, 36 percent no]

#From the Monday, October 10, NBC Nightly News:

CHUCK TODD: Rommey, who addressed the issue of his faith in the last campaign, said such attacks damage the Republican Party.

MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Poisonous language doesn't advance our cause. It's never softened a single heart, nor changed a single mind.

TODD: At issue for evangelical Christians is how Christ fits into Mormonism. While Mormons share a belief in salvation through Jesus, their own scriptures - the Book of Mormon - expands on the fundamental Christian teachings of the Bible.

RICHARD LAND, THE ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION: Anybody who reads the Book of Mormon or reads the teachings of the Mormon Church, if they're an orthodox Christian, they're going to come away saying this is not apostles creed, nicine (sp?) creed, standard, boiler plate Christianity.

#From the Sunday, October 9, Today show on NBC:

MIKE VIQUEIRA: It isn't the first time Romney has had to defend his faith. As a candidate in 2007, trying to assure many of the same conservative doubters.

MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I'm fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest.

VIQUEIRA: A recent survey shows about a third of white evangelicals would be less likely to support a candidate if they were Mormon. Despite the efforts of Romney and others, those numbers have hardly changed since the last campaign.

#From the Monday, October 10, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:

CARL CAMERON: The pastor defends his views, citing a year old survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors taken by an evangelical group.

PASTOR ROBERT JEFFRESS, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH DALLAS: Three out of four agreed with the position that Mormonism is not Christianity, Mormons are not Christians. This is no new news.

CAMERON: But a Quinnipiac poll of voters taken this year says fully 68 percent Republicans are comfortable with a Mormon President, as are 64 percent of independents. Democrats are the least tolerant, with 49 percent comfortable with a Mormon President.