White evangelicals are the most likely subgroup to say it is at least somewhat important to have a president who lives a moral life, while black Protestants are the most likely to say it is “very important,” according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
White evangelicals and black Protestants are also among the most likely to say it’s important to have a president who “stands up for people with your religious beliefs.”
The survey was conducted in February among 6,395 U.S. adults and highlighted April 16 in a Pew Fact Tank analysis.
“The character of the person who occupies the Oval Office matters to the vast majority of Americans,” Pew’s Jeff Diamant wrote. “Across party lines and religious groups, roughly nine-in-ten or more say it is either somewhat or very important to have a president who lives a moral, ethical life.”
All total, 94 percent of U.S. adults say it is important to have a president who “lives a moral, ethical life,” with 63 percent saying it’s very important and 31 percent somewhat important. That’s in line with white evangelicals (97 percent – 63 very/34 somewhat), Catholics (93 percent – 62 very/31 somewhat) and Jewish Americans (91 percent – 66 very/25 somewhat. A total of 93 percent of black Protestant church members say it is important, with 73 percent – the highest in the survey on this question – saying it’s very important and 20 percent somewhat important.
Meanwhile, 69 percent of Americans say it’s important to have a president who “stands up for people with your religious beliefs,” with white evangelicals, black Protestants and Jewish Americans the most likely to say it is important.
A survey-high 94 percent of white evangelicals say it’s important, with a poll-high 67 percent saying it’s “very important” and 27 percent somewhat important. For black Protestants, it is 84 percent (52 very/32 somewhat) and for Jewish Americans 82 percent (60 very/22 somewhat).
White evangelicals (76 percent – 34 very/42 somewhat) and black Protestant church members (64 percent – 30 very/34 percent) are also the most likely to say it’s important that a president “shares your religious beliefs.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Hermosa Wave
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.