Bob Wright and Ramesh Ponnuru were talking about Mormon-related matters on bloggingheads recently, and something Ponnuru said stood out (since I had just been looking at the Pew polling he referred to). He mentioned a word association result and claimed that the poll showed that 75% of the public used the word polygamy to describe Mormonism. This is not what the poll said. The figure was 75, but it was the number of times the word polygamy was mentioned in free association out of a total of 1,461 responses. I think there is still fairly widespread, residual association of Mormonism with polygamy, but I don’t think it’s anything like 75%. In any case, whatever it is, the Pew results show something else.
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