67% Say Strong Religious Beliefs Important in Presidential Candidates; 84% Have Favorable View of Jews

The Public Religion Research Institute has interesting poll results from two recent surveys. They write, “Two-thirds of voters say that it is very important (39%) or somewhat important (28%) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. However, roughly 1-in-5 (19%) voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had strong religious beliefs if those beliefs were very different from their own.”

Reuters’ take away: “When asked about specific religious faiths and the presidency, 29 percent of Americans would be uncomfortable with an evangelical Christian in the job, 53 percent would be uncomfortable with a Mormon, 64 percent with a Muslim, and 67 percent would be uncomfortable with an atheist as president.”

I asked the Institute why they didn’t survey how people would feel with a Jewish President. They referred me to their survey of late August which shows that 84% have a favorable view of Jews and 83% have a favorable view of Catholics. Therefore, the Institute concluded that few would have an issue with a Catholic or a Jew as POTUS, and therefore they didn’t see a need to survey it now.

67% in the August survey said they have a favorable view of Mormons and 58% said that have a favorable view of Muslims.

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