Taking these two studies together, we find that (1) many people don’t know the LDS Church’s stance, but (2) those who do know it tend to move in the Church’s direction, at least if they are LDS Republicans.
Today, the Deseret News highlighted our recent posts by BYU professors Chris Karpowitz and Quin Monson. Their article began with this headline: “Two BYU studies conflict over influence of Mormon church in shaping immigration views” (read it here).
It’s a good article and I encourage folks to read it. However, I’m not sure that the two studies conflict all that much.
Quin finds that public opinion among LDS Republicans moved toward the LDS church’s stance between October and January, presumably as a result of the Utah Compact and the LDS Church’s statement of support.
Meanwhile, Chris finds that many Utahns, whether LDS or not, do not know the Church’s stance.
In my mind, these two studies do not conflict. Taking these two studies together, we find that (1) many people don’t know the LDS Church’s stance, but (2) those who do know it tend to move in the Church’s direction, at least if they are LDS Republicans.
Those aren’t conflicting findings; they are two pieces of the same puzzle. And if both findings are true, then the LDS Church was probably wise to reiterate its stance on immigration a couple weeks ago.
The big news last week was that Utah County Republicans approved a resolution calling for a repeal of the guest worker law (HB 116). Perhaps the bigger news was that similar resolutions failed at Republican conventions in several other counties (Weber, Davis, Iron, Box Elder, etc). From reading Quin’s and Chris’s research, I wouldn’t be surprised if the LDS’s recent statement specifically supporting HB 116 played a role in preventing anti-HB116 resolutions from passing in more counties.
Update: The Deseret News has made some improvements to their article as a result of this blog post and some email correspondence with my colleagues. If you follow the link to the DNews article that I gave above, you may wonder why I wrote this post. Well, now you know the rest of the story.