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Mormons say U.S. ready for president of their faith

Call it the Mitt Moment, the Mormon Moment — by whatever name, this would seem to be a pretty good time to be a Mormon in America. And it is, according to a survey of American Mormons being released Thursday, even though many church members say they still face discrimination and hostility.

Mormons are generally more satisfied with their lives and communities than most Americans, and a majority believe that America is ready to elect a Mormon president, says the survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The survey provides a snapshot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the formal name — at a time when one of its members, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, could become the first Mormon presidential nominee of a major political party.

Most of the survey’s findings are unsurprising. Mormons are far more conservative than the public at large (66% vs. 37%), and far more likely to be Republican or Republican-leaning (74% vs. 45%). They are staunch social conservatives, with strong majorities opposed to homosexuality and abortion. And they like Romney, who has an 86% favorable rating among his co-religionists. (President Obama, by contrast, is viewed favorably by 25% of Mormons, exactly half his rating among the public at large.)