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Mitt Romney's five biggest liabilities as GOP nominee

Typically, an election with an incumbent president on the ballot is a referendum on him. But President Obama is trying to turn the tables. So what exactly does Mitt Romney bring to the table, in both positive and negative ways? Here are the liabilities:

3. Mormonism

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    Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Romney’s devout Mormon faith hindered his ability to lock up the Republican nomination early, as many evangelical voters – a key part of the GOP base – were unwilling to vote for him. They view the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a cult and not Christian, and some worry that if Romney is elected president, it will help the church attract new members.

Some polls show that Democrats are more wary than Republicans of voting for a Mormon for president. Still, the Mormon factor was a greater hurdle during the primaries than it will be during the general. Some Republicans wish Romney would discuss his pastoral activities as a church leader, counseling people with health, financial, and marital problems, as a way to warm up his image and show his compassion for others. But so far, that has not become a regular part of his stump speech.

Now, despite his Mormonism, most Christian conservatives say they plan to vote for Romney, because he’s better than Obama. But even if a 4 or 5 percent decide to stay home rather than vote for a Mormon, that could hurt Romney’s chances in critical swing states like Florida, Ohio, and Virginia.

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