TAMPA, Fla. -- As Mitt Romney prepares to give the biggest speech of his life Thursday evening, a new national poll suggests that one of his perceived political vulnerabilities — his Mormon faith — has receded as an issue.
The opinion survey, by the Pew Research Center, asked Americans what one word came to mind when they heard Romney’s name. Last fall, “Mormon” was the most frequent response when the independent polling operation asked that question.
Today, it is the Romney descriptor that has changed the most. Only eight out of 1,010 adults volunteered “Mormon,” compared with 60 in the 2011 survey.
Instead, reflecting the country’s shifting impressions of the Republican presidential nominee — and the impact of hundreds of millions of dollars of ads by both sides — words that came to mind most often were honest, businessman, rich, good and conservative.