Republican voters are more likely to see former President Donald Trump as a person of faith than Mike Pence, Tim Scott, and other GOP politicians who make their faith a central part of their platform, according to a new Deseret News/HarrisX poll.
The survey of 1,002 registered voters nationwide found that 53 percent of Republicans say Trump is a person of faith, compared to 52 percent who say that about Pence and 31 percent about Scott. None of the GOP politicians in the survey scored higher than Trump, with Ron DeSantis (47 percent), Mitt Romney (42 percent), Nikki Haley (31 percent), Vivek Ramaswamy (30 percent) and Chris Christie (22 percent) all lagging behind.
Only 23 percent of Republican voters say President Joe Biden is a man of faith.
Pence, Scott, and others often discuss their faith on the campaign trail, while Trump rarely does. Biden, who is Catholic, also often talks about his faith. The survey asked simply, “Is this political figure a person of faith?”
In a news release, the Deseret News said Republican voters deem a person of faith “based on who they are going to vote for (rather than actual religious identity).” Further, Trump “is seen as having done a lot to move forward the pro-life agenda while in office.”
Among evangelical Christians in the survey, one-third say Trump is a person of faith, compared to 65 percent who say that about Pence.
“The findings expose a tension when considering faith and politics: On one hand, a majority of voters say faith and religion is important to them and their political decisions -- both candidates and policy,” the newspaper said in an analysis. “On the other hand, they often perceive politicians as insincere when discussing their own religious beliefs and motivated by trying to score points.”
Ultimately, the newspaper added, “While some candidates act as champions for voters of the same faith -- for example, Mike Pence and evangelical voters -- and voters’ decisions are informed by their faith, electoral choices come down to pragmatic decisions on issues, the candidates’ politics and their ability to move forward an agenda.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brandon Bell/Staff
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.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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