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Are voters swayed by a candidate's religion?

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 9, 2012 at 4:09 a.m.
Updated Sept. 10, 2012 at 4:10 a.m.


Pro: Religion dictates how candidates view the world

CON: Many think religious beliefs should take a back seat

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Mitt Romney stood before the Republican National Convention in recent weeks and accepted the party's presidential nomination.

If elected in November, Romney would be the first Mormon to assume the office of United States president.

But Romney's religious affiliation isn't the only historic aspect of the 2012 presidential race.

His vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, is Catholic. So too, is Vice President Joe Biden, who's running on the Democratic Party ticket for a second term with President Barack Obama.

It's the first time both vice presidential candidates are Catholic.

For the first time in American history, only one Christian Protestant is running for president - Obama, who is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

American presidents throughout history have been Christian, and most have been Protestant. President John F. Kennedy was the nation's first and only Catholic leader in the White House.

But with such religious diversity on the presidential ballot this season, religion researchers are collecting data to determine the role religion will play when voters go to the polls.

Will voters be swayed to vote for or against a candidate based on their religious affiliation?

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