Bad News For Gay Atheists

(AP / CBS)
According to a recent Gallup poll, a large majority of Americans – 95, 94 and 92 percent, respectively – would vote for a presidential candidate who is Catholic, black or Jewish. There is slightly more opposition to a female candidate, but 88 percent of Americans still say they would have no problem voting for a woman. Below that, the list gets a little more interesting.

Twenty four percent of Americans say they wouldn't vote for a Mormon – which is a pretty big number, and presumably bad news for Mitt "Mormon!" Romney.

But 30 percent say they wouldn't vote for someone who was "married for the third time" – here's looking at you, Rudy. And 42 percent say they wouldn't vote for someone who is 72 years old, which happens to be the age that a certain Arizona Senator will be on inauguration day. Gay candidates fare even worse, with 43 percent opposition, though not as bad as atheists, whom 53 percent of Americans say they wouldn't vote for.

Of course, your age and marriages are only a problem if the press corps discusses them. So far, there has been much more focus on Romney's religion than Giuliani's past or McCain's age. That's starting to change – Romney is starting to get a lot of (bad) press for his, um, evolving positions on social issues – but polls like this underline how important it is for candidates to control their media coverage. McCain, for example, can probably win the Republican nomination. But a generic "72-year-old" candidate apparently can't. So McCain needs to limit the degree to which the press corps talks about him in those terms.

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