There are two groups of people who are most ardent in their hopes for a Romney presidential run. The first group is made up of typical Mormons. Most actively religious Mormons are devout Mittens already and delighted that one of their co-religionists is a likely candidate for the most powerful political position on the planet.
The second group can hardly be categorized as Mittens, but their ardor for a Romney candidacy is second to none. This second group is, of course, the Democrats.
The Democrats' preference for a Romney candidacy is based on two factors.
First, every time an "un-Romney" has emerged in the Republican primaries, they have been very successful in impeding the momentum of the Romney campaign. Every un-Romney has managed at least for a time to stay even or close with Romney, and have done so with a fraction of Romney's resources. The Mitten team, by contrast, has had to extravagantly outspend the un-Romney rivals just to keep Mitt in the race.
Given the time and resources the Romney campaign has expended, the nomination for the presidential candidacy should have been locked in by now. But there is something inherently feeble about Romney's race for the presidency. His rivals aren't that robust. They should have been dismissed handily. If anything, the extended nomination race has exposed the fragility of a Romney candidacy.
President Obama is, of course, the ultimate un-Romney. Moreover, the Democrat presidential re-election machine will have the largest campaign war chest in history. If rivals can stay close to Romney with meager resources, it follows that anyone who can outspend Romney will win against him.
The second factor will lead to the demise of the Democrat party in Utah.
OK -- that's a bit of hyperbole, but there will be serious damage to my political party in Utah. Here's why.
Forty-five years ago I was living in Winsford, England, for the usual reason that Utah lads take a couple of years off during their college-age years. I received a letter from home with the news that my grandfather, Wilford, had died. There was no surprise there because he was born in 1886. However, the additional news was that a couple of his devout Mormon children had gone to the Manti temple to have their recently deceased father baptized by proxy, followed by a proxy endowment, and then a proxy sealing (marriage for time and all eternity) to my grandmother, Lillie.
Neither Wilford nor his father and grandfather were Mormons. My ancestor, John Humphrey, had fled Georgia after the War of Northern Aggression to make a life in Emery County, Utah. John had irritated some scalawags who stopped chasing him because they figured that life in the middle of Utah was worse than their uncharitable intentions. But his son and grandson married Mormon girls and ultimately were processed through the Mormon works for the dead by their descendants.
This unique feature of Mormon belief and practice has come to the fore again with the news that Mormons performed a proxy baptism on behalf of the Jewish martyr, Anne Frank.
While this practice is considered a loving act of grace by Mormons, what is underestimated is the degree to which it is considered sacrilegiously predatory by many non-Mormons. I've lost count of the times I have tried to assuage the anger of people who were deeply offended when they learned that a Mormon relative had performed "temple work" for someone they loved.
If Mitt Romney gets the Republican nomination, temple work for the dead and other distinctive Mormon practices will be seized on by the large irreligious faction in the Democratic party and distorted into a blend of anti-Romney-Mormon propaganda.
In this era of exceptionally dirty politics, a Romney nomination will guarantee that some of the president's supporters go down the anti-Mormon road. But for the moment they're keeping anti-Mormon propaganda in check to make sure Romney gets the nomination.
Democrats in Utah will have to cope with the bigotry of their political confederates. Utah has close to 3 million residents. However, in the last presidential election, only 327,670 voted for Barack Obama. If that number drops on Tuesday, Nov. 6, we'll know that Mormon Democratic voters either apostasized into Mittenry, or left the party altogether.
The only salvation for the Democratic party in Utah will have to be an influx of Gentile immigrants.