There's "The Book of Mormon," the Tony award-winning musical on Broadway.
There's Jimmer Fredette, the BYU grad who's the No. 10 pick in the NBA Draft.
There's U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, the newly appointed junior Nevada senator who, like the state's veteran U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
And there's the GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, a Mormon who is getting some competition from Jon Huntsman, a distant cousin and fellow church member.
Call it a Mormon moment, from the political stage to the New York stage.
And that pop culture pop could help some voters overcome religious prejudice, especially in regions outside Western states such as Nevada and Utah where Mormons thrive.
Nationwide, 22 percent of Americans say they wouldn't be willing to vote for a Mormon, according to a Gallup Poll released last week. That's far higher than for other religions, with 9 percent saying they wouldn't vote for a Jewish president and 7 percent saying no to a Catholic or a Baptist leader.
Ron Futrell, a Mormon volunteering for Romney's finance committee in Nevada, said religious and ideological differences are more prominent during the primary and caucus season.
But, Futrell said, once Republicans settle on a nominee -- whether Mormon, Protestant, Baptist, Catholic, Jewish or something else -- they'll likely coalesce behind President Barack Obama's general election opponent.
"All political races are relative," Futrell said. "It's a matter of who's on the ballot and who they're running against. Do I think Southern Baptists in a primary will not vote for Romney? Maybe not. But in a general election, if it's Romney and Obama on the ballot, I think Republicans will have a pretty easy time voting for a Mormon."
(In fact, Gallup said Mormon prejudice is lower among Republicans -- 18 percent wouldn't vote for one -- while 27 percent of Democrats would refuse. Mormons lean conservative and GOP.)
KENNEDY CHANGED MINDS
The 1960 election is a good example of overcoming religious prejudice. In 1959, 25 percent of Americans said they wouldn't vote for a Catholic president. Public opposition fell, however, and a year later John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, beat Republican Richard Nixon to become the first Catholic president.
Unlike for other religions, prejudice against Mormons has held steady over the years despite its growth in the United States to 5.5 million members and around the world with another 7.5 million members.
Opposition to having a Mormon as president has been about 20 percent across America since 1967, when Gallup first began to measure it, the polling organization said.
Although it might sound strange, Futrell argued that send-ups of his religion like the smash Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon," can erase some of the lingering stigma.
"The church is using it to say if you want to find the real message in the Book of Mormon, contact the church," Futrell said. "I think it's a stroke of genius on their part to take advantage of this moment."
A polygamous past and church founder Joseph Smith's 1800s discovery of the Mormon texts in a forest have long prompted ridicule and even persecution, causing followers to flee West to form their own civilization. Smith himself ran for president in 1844, but was killed by an Illinois mob later that year.
GETTING AROUND RELIGION
The Mormon candidates seem to be mapping their campaigns to get around the religion issue.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is not planning to compete in an Iowa straw poll, an early test of political strength. And he isn't planning to make a big push to win the Iowa caucuses early in 2012. The Midwestern state is socially conservative and has lots of evangelical Protestants.
Instead, Romney is focusing his efforts on winning New Hampshire and Nevada, which he won in 2008, and picking up South Carolina and the key state of Florida to shut out his foes early on.
Huntsman, a former Utah governor and former U.S. ambassador to China, is following the Romney formula, setting himself up as the alternative if the front-runner falters. He visited the Reno rodeo last Friday and rubbed elbows with Washoe County Republicans in conservative Northern Nevada.
Huntsman fended off questions about his religious views. In a recent Time magazine interview, he said he was more "spiritual" than religious. In Reno, he declined to expand on that.
"I am not running for guru," he joked.
While campaigning, the two competitors might take a page from the musical "Book of Mormon."
"I Believe," is one of the songs.
"I Am Here For You," is another.
"You And Me (But Mostly Me)," may be most apt.
Contact Laura Myers at lmyers@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.