President Barack Obama's approval rating is higher among Muslims than any other religious group in the United States, a new poll has found.
According to a Gallup Poll
conducted over six months from January to June, 72 percent of Muslims said they approve of the president, compared with just 20 percent who disapprove.
But in the survey of 88,801 adults, a higher percentage of Christians — both Catholic and Protestant — disapprove of Obama than approve. Specifically, 44 percent of Catholics approve of the president compared to 51 percent who disapprove.
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In the category Protestants/Other Christians, just 37 percent approve compared to 58 percent who disapprove.
"The United States remains a predominantly Christian nation, with roughly half of Americans identifying with a Protestant religion and another quarter identifying as Catholics. Thus, the opinions of these Christian groups are by far the most influential in determining Obama's overall ratings," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones said in the poll's statement.
Behind Muslims, Non-Christians and No Religion/Atheists give the president the next highest approval ratings, of 59 percent and 54 percent, respectively. Those who identify as Jewish also give him a comparable approval rating of 55 percent.
Mormons are the least approving religious group with a 78 percent disapproval rating compared to just 18 percent who approve of the job Obama is doing.
The poll noted that the relative rank order of the religious groups on job approval has been consistent throughout Obama's presidency. "In fact, the current rank order, with Muslims most approving and Mormons least, exactly matches the order seen over the more than five years he has been in office since January 2009," Jones writes.
At the same time, approval ratings among each religious subgroup is currently between 5 and 7 percentage points lower than the average rating the president has had from 2009-2014.
"In general, when Obama's approval rating has dropped among all Americans, his approval rating in each religious subgroup has dropped by a similar amount," Jones said.
"As Obama's overall job approval rating has had its ups and downs over the five-plus years he has been president, his ratings among religious groups have moved in tandem. That is, Americans of various faiths seem to react similarly to the factors that cause the president's popularity to wax and wane, rather than reacting in idiosyncratic ways tied to their religious beliefs," Jones said.
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