POTUS Approval Ratings by Religion

Percent of US population Jewish – 2.2% (2006 as reported)

Percent of US population Muslim – 0.6% (2007 as reported)

Percent of US population Catholic – 22% (2008 as reported)

Percent of US population Mormon – 1.7% (as reported)

Percent of US population Protestant – 51.3% (as reported)

Percent of US population “Non-Religious – 15% (2009 as reported)

Summing up by group, the percentage who approve of the job Barack Obama’s been doing is 39.9% of the nation’s population.  Meanwhile, among Protestants and Mormons (53% of the US population) the POTUS is holding a 58% or lower approval rating.

Consider now that 30% of Congress is Catholic and 51.3% are Protestant.  Jewish influence is 8.4% in Congress for 2.2% of the population while Mormons comprise 2.6% of Congress for 1.7% of the country.   There are 3 Buddhists, two Muslims and one out-of-the-closet atheist.

Now here’s the question:  Is religious background (or lack thereof) a factor in the MSM’s coverage and hype of Obama?  [I’m only asking a question]


Comments

  1. Basil St. John says

    I’m not sure how math works in your world, but in the reality-based community, 58 percent is generally seen as a majority and 30 percent is generally seen as a minority. In fact, you could say it’s close to a 2-to-1 margin.

    Even among Mormons–also a relatively small religious minority which you’ve tossed in with Protestants to help bolster a very weak case–he’s got a higher approval rating than disapproval rating.

  2. No, what this tells me is that Republicans need to pay attention to WHY Obama gets across the board approval. Read what pollsters say, especially the republican leaning ones. Many are trying to tell us all to retool the message. Aside from the 70’s grass reference ( kinda dates us over 40 somethings-LOL), this is a great piece http://thehill.com/a.b.-stoddard/rip–gop-2009-04-29.html

  3. And just to pile on, it looks to me like the Congressional religious numbers are actually quite similar to the population proportions. So what does that have to do with the MSM coverage again? This really is an incoherent post.

  4. Why not look at economic class or gender or some other measure. The only thing I can deduce from this is you are claiming Obama is getting “biased” press coverage because you believe Jews and Non-religious people run the Media. Is this what you are claiming?

    Also this statement here makes no sense at all:
    “Summing up by group, the percentage who approve of the job Barack Obama’s been doing is 39.9% of the nation’s population. Meanwhile, among Protestants and Mormons (53% of the US population) the POTUS is holding a 58% or lower approval rating.”

  5. A further thing I noticed, according to a Pew poll at the end of April, Obama’s approval with those earning less than $30K a year was 71%, those earning $30K to $75K was 61% and with those earning $75K or more it was 58%. Maybe we could claim Obama would be getting more positive press coverage except for the fact that wealthy people own the mainstream news outlets…

  6. Veritas Vincit says

    I simply found that the more narrowly focused the religious segment of the population, the higher his approval ratings are, with the exception of the Mormons.

    And Bill, how do you deduce the Congressional composition is “quite similar” to the overall population? Mormons are 1.7% of the population but their Congressional component is 2.6%, the Catholic figure is 30 versus 22, and 2.2% to 8.4%. The non-religious 15% segment of the population has only 1 representative out of 535.

    The only alignment is among Protestants and Congressional representation.

    Todd, let me spell it out for you; Among the mainstream religious population, Obama enjoys marginally over 50% approval ratings. Among the Catholics who are predominantly Hispanic in the US he’s enjoying a 2/3’s approval rating – and finally among the Jewish and Muslim very small minorities he enjoys wildly high approval ratings.

    As for my question about the media. What is the religious composition of the MSM? I mean the actual management folks responsible for what is written, printed and delivered over the TV to viewers as “news”? My hypothesis is that it doesn’t align with the overall religious composition of the general US population.

    And Gayle? Should we “retool” the Republican Party to be more in alignment with Obama’s world view? Is our political process of governance reduced to a sporting contest where strategy is based on outcome? Or should our political process fall within ideological guidelines of how our society should be governed?

  7. VV,
    When dealing with small percentages the differences you mention are for mormons and jews are not very significant.

    I don’t think your characterization of Catholics as not being mainstream religious population is quite accurate – you might want to reconsider that.

    As to having marginal approval among Protestants, I think 58% positive to 30% negative is not accurately described as marginal. This is a fairly significant difference.

    Again, I think you should consider that groups with larger overall populations will have a much wider distribution of views than those with much smaller percentages. Also, while Obama is less popular with certain overall religious groups than others, for instance, this doesn’t mean individuals in any of these groups are more of less enthusiastic.

  8. The divide is no longer BETWEEN faiths but WITHIN them. Gallup religious polling has been stuck in the 1950s model since, well, the 1950s. At first, Gallup polled in triads — “Are you Catholic, Protestant or Jew” — according the the mid-1950s, quite famous book by (Will?) Herberg. Those were the cultural or religious divisions of that era, a time when Protestants were mostly in denominations that toed the line of their governing bodies.

    That time has long passed. Now, the division is within each faith, not between them. Thus, there are progressive/liberal/secular Protestants and evangelical/conservative/traditionalists. Ditto for Catholics. Jews are a bit more complicated, but, again, the division mirrors that of the other major US faiths. The conservative side of each faith, irrespective of the faith, will be mostly Republican and conservative. The liberal side will be Democratic. Faith, then, mirrors political ideology, or to put it more accurately, political ideology emerges from those primary, ur-beliefs including faith.

    Another point. Within each faith, if you measure for saliency or the degree to which your faith matters to you in daily life or thought, the division is even more clear. Those with a salient faith are conservative, politically and culturally. Those more in line with the dominant culture, that is more secular, are usually more liberal politically and culturally.

    So, what this poll measures is … nothing.

  9. Veritas Vincit says

    Actually Kristen, the poll which you dismiss so breezily makes your point when you look at the Mormon numbers. Your last paragraph, last 2 sentences.

    btw, what is your background in demographic and psychographic trending and segmentation?

    Todd, I did not mean that Catholics were not mainstream, but that the majority of Catholics today in the US are Hispanic which is a minority group.

    58% is only 8 points over the line and with a margin of error to consider in the study may net a smaller margin than that.

    Now look at the actual margin in the November popular vote. The point may be, that Obama’s support comes from a very diverse grouping of peoples and, those with reservations about him remain pretty close to the majority.

    Compare and contrast the depth of his support among the several groups in the survey who support him with double digit figures to those who support him in a lukewarm sort of way.

  10. We Catholics aren’t part of the mainstream?

    Yes! Counter-culture here we come!

  11. VV,

    Please don’t make me make another Chewie-reading comphrension joke.

    The MOE on these polls is not 8%.

    The MOE on these polls is:

    .5% on the Protestant poll.

    1% on the Catholic poll.

    2% on the Jewish Poll.

    3% on the Mormon poll.

    If anyone wants to see the numbers straight up, here:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/118120/Obama-Approval-High-Among-Muslims-Jews-Catholics.aspx

    You continue to pimp this argument about Obama being unpopular close to the majority. You are wrong. Using Gallup’s numbers, as updated for today – from the front page of the website:

    Approval: 66%
    Disappproval: 28%

    That’s a 38% swing in Obama’s favor, and close to the 2/3 of the country liking him.

    You’re beginning to sound like tha aprocryphal Pauline Kael quote: “I can’t believe Nixon won since no one I knew had voted for him”.

  12. Klute,

    First, Gallup’s job approval ratings are notoriously high. In fact, Obama’s job approval ratings mirror that of Bush during his first term before 9-11.

    Second, Obama’s job approval ratings rank sixth out of the nine last presidents after the first three months of office. I don’t have a source bur you can google it. In a hurry. Sorry.

    Third, Obama’s personal popularity is much higher than approval for his policies. Again, google it.

    Fourth, Obama is the most polarizing president in contemporary American history, far more than Bush. So, to borrow your Kael quote, you and most Republicans probably hang in different cultural and social circles. No big deal but getting into the mindset of your political opponents is a difficult feat … for all of us.

    Best to you, though.

    Kristen

    Third,

  13. Oh, and Veritas, I don’t and won’t breezily dismiss Gallup. Actually, I pour over his findings. Sorry if I suggested that Gallup should be taken lightly. Not true.

    Gallup is a mainline Protestant who grieves the loss of a united Protestant front. That’s his agenda.

  14. “First, Gallup’s job approval ratings are notoriously high. In fact, Obama’s job approval ratings mirror that of Bush during his first term before 9-11.”

    Fine, take a look at Research 2000’s (69/26). Or Fox News (62/29). Or AP (64/?).

    Sensing a pattern? About 2/3s of the country likes this guy.

    “Second, Obama’s job approval ratings rank sixth out of the nine last presidents after the first three months of office. I don’t have a source bur you can google it. In a hurry. Sorry.”

    He’s second, actually. Second only to Reagan.

    “Third, Obama’s personal popularity is much higher than approval for his policies. Again, google it.”

    Know it, don’t care. People vote for personalities in the voting both, generally not policies.

    “Fourth, Obama is the most polarizing president in contemporary American history, far more than Bush.”

    And with Republicans hemmoraging party affiliation numbers, and standing around the country, who cares? Even if every Republican voted against Obama, the Democrats and Independents are more than enough to reelect him.

    With the mainstream Republican media pushing things like “Dijongate”, we on the left fear NOTHING.

  15. Veritas Vincit says

    Klute, “…likes this guy.” is all in how the question is asked. Is he likable? Sure, but do they like his policies and actions? That’s a deeper question.

    Kirsten, We may have differences, but Veritas very much appreciates someone who can articulate and logically present their case with good data and information. This isn’t the first time you’ve managed to get this curmudgeon to listen. Thanks.

    Klute, do you have ADD or a reading comprehension problem? Or do you just make a habit of misquoting or misinterpreting what others who you disagree with say?

    By the end of 2009, Mr Obama’s ratings will be well below their current levels because even the MSM will be disappointed in his lack of depth and results. Afghanistan will grow as a quagmire and the economy will continue to limp along.

    If you quote me, be accurate. If you bring valid discussion and logic I’ll listen.

    The fact is, at 22% of the population Catholics when compared to 52% of the population remain a minority religion within the society.

    Catholics, Mormons and those of the Jewish faith comprise a disproportionate share of the US Congress in context of their actual share of the overall US population.

  16. Get mad, get nasty, get even, or try to win. All conservative values will be lost as the party resents and retracts. I say drop getting even and focus on getting ahead.

  17. Basil St. John says

    VV: Your entire post is based on a misreading of the data. You’re pushing hard on that 58 percent figure–which clearly shows a majority do support Obama–and completely ignoring that the poll numbers show that only 30 percent say they disapprove. THAT’S A TWO-TO-ONE ADVANTAGE FOR OBAMA. I dare say that’s outside the margin of error.

    You don’t like the guy. Fine. You’re in the minority; it may be that you will find yourself in the majority at some point. But that doesn’t mean you can cite a poll, and then ignore what the poll actually says. Well, I guess you can do just that, as you’ve proven here. But don’t expect people to treat you seriously if you do.

    It’s amusing that you bring up Afghanistan, since Obama is trying to fix what the Bush administration screwed up in the first place by ignoring it so they could focus military action in Iraq. Do you actually have a better proposal for Afghanistan, or are you just hoping that America will fail there?

  18. “Klute, ‘…likes this guy.’ is all in how the question is asked. Is he likable? Sure, but do they like his policies and actions? That’s a deeper question.”

    Agreed (for once). It’s a fair question – but your previous statement of:

    “There are still 49% of the population who very much dislike the man.”

    Encapsulates what is wrong with the conservative movement and the Republican Party. With Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Steyn talking about pointless stuff like “Dijongate” (and boy, are we on the left going to shove that down your throats) – it makes the conservative movement seem 1. unserious and 2. having no ideas (and 3. when you go the secession-talk route, dangerous and unstable).

    Basically, the conservative movement is becoming the punk kid down the street wearing a Che tshirt, listening to the Sex Pistols, and making milk jug bombs (replace Che with Reagan and the Sex Pistols with Ted Nugent).

    There needs to be a relevant 2nd (or more) party in the United States – one party rule will be both bad for the Democratic Party and the United States.

  19. Don’t worry about the Republican Party. It is re-tooling fast and will be a force to be reckoned with in the next election. Many, like me, who were apolitical are now energized. Frankly, I’m stunned at the energy among new “converts.”

  20. Iris Lynch says

    Kristen hit the nail on the head.

    Also, are people so stupid as to totally eliminate ANY opposition to this madman? Remember there are Democrats at these Tea Parties too. The longer he has ‘his way’ with us, the more the citizens will see him for what he is, regardless of how ‘likable’ he is. Hitler was also ‘likable’ and he didn’t even have a teleprompter. In a country of over 305 million, surely there is a TRUE conservative who will appeal to both Democrats and Independents, as well as Republicans. No one needs to change party affiliation in order to vote in general elections. I do not know why we pretend it is otherwise.

  21. Veritas Vincit says

    I have a copy of Triumph of the Will and what struck me most about the film was the absolute adoration of the crowds, I have watched the film again since the inauguration and am struck at the similarities in crowd reaction.

    Klute, I find ‘democracy’ loathsome, used to prefer a ‘republic’ but am thinking about a parliamentarian form of government that requires coalitions of parties in order to form a majority.

    … and remember, from 1932 to 1950 the Republican Party was thought of as down for the count. That was until the foreign policy of Truman(D) got us embroiled in the Korean “police action”.

  22. Iris,

    When you say things like “the madman” and “Hitler was also…”, you peg yourself a crackpot, and speaking as the child of a Holocaust survivor, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    VV,

    For real fun, compare NASCAR rallies circa 2003-2006 to Nurmeberg rallies.

  23. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

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