Arizonans react to 2012 presidential candidates

February 28, 2012

Throughout this primary season, we’ve been reaching out to you to learn your thoughts on the Republican candidates and our incumbent president. Here are some of the responses you shared with us.

John Marshall of Peoria supports reelecting President Barack Obama, but it’s not a glowing endorsement. Marshall wrote that Obama is “the least of evils.”

However, Marshall also gives Obama credit for ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to save the banking and automotive industries, and being concerned about the environment.

Marshall wrote: “This congress opposes everything that the President wants to do. I am afraid that much of the opposition is because he has brown skin and an unusual name. We really haven't come very far.”

Raul Espericueta of Phoenix is a supporter of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Espericueta sees Santorum as someone “who will help restore our country to the vision of our founders. Government control and size will become our demise if it is not reigned in and limited.”

“Santorum's personal values would do much to get America grounded in what is good, true and beautiful,” Espericueta wrote.

We were also curious to know how the Mormon population of Arizona supported former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, himself a Mormon. We found lots of support from Romney in the LDS community, but it was hardly universal.

Cameron Earl of Phoenix wrote: “I am a member of the LDS church. In the [2008] election, I would have supported Mitt had he made it through the primaries, mostly as a result of being more comfortable with someone of the same religious background, and ignorance of his character. Since then I have found him to be better defined as a politician than a Mormon. He seems to say whatever will score him political points, and that grates against me strongly. Character matters more than religious affiliation. True religion is a way of life more than an affiliation.

Scott (who prefers we not use his last name) wrote: “I'm a member of the LDS Church and do not feel compelled to support Mitt Romney. In the last presidential election I voted for Barack Obama. I have not yet decided who to vote for, either in the primaries or in the general elections. Last presidential cycle I felt betrayed by the Republican Party when Romney did not get a fair playing field because the evangelic vote seemed to unfairly sway away from him based on his religion."

Scott also added that his faith does play a role when considering candidates, but it’s not the only one factor. “My worldview is shaped by the principles of my faith and the person I vote for is chosen based on my world view. I do not feel people should select candidates (or not select candidates) based on the candidates' chosen church."

He also added: “Many people believe that ... LDS membership is largely homogeneous. But I know Mormons are not all Republican or conservative. Some are moderate. I am a moderate. I often wish the moderate voice was given more airtime within the Mormon Church. I think lots of LDS conservatives are only that way because they think it's the Mormon way.”

These submissions came to us through the Public Insight Network. Click here to share your thoughts on who you want to elect in November, or how you think the LDS vote will affect Romney.

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