Romney's wealth and religion trouble Southern whites, new poll shows


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands with people during a campaign event. Romney will have to have to find a way to manage voters' demands with the demands of his faith.


Joe Raedle

Mitt Romney famously joked last month that he is more of a real American than President Barack Obama: "No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate," he said. "They know that this is the place that we were born and raised." But it turns out that the Southern whites who doubted Obama's citizenship aren't so sure about Romney, either. A Reuters/Ipsos poll has found that voters across the Bible Belt are more likely to vote for a black candidate than a wealthy or Mormon one.

Overall, 38 percent of voters in the Bible Belt were less likely to vote for a "very wealthy" candidate, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, just 20 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a black candidate. Sheryl Harris, a woman from Virginia, twice voted for George W. Bush and believes that Obama is a Muslim. But she is voting for Obama because, she told Reuters, "Romney's going to help the upper class." 

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In addition, 35 percent of voters polled said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is Mormon, the Los Angeles Times reported

Before the 2008 election, Virginia had voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968, according to Southern Political Report. In this election, it's not clear who will win the state. “It could go either way,” says Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, told Southern Political Report.