Pope Francis' general popularity in the U.S. has dropped significantly over the last year, and his standing among conservatives has plummeted even further, Gallup polling
showed this week. Blame it on his economic philosophy and stance on climate change.
From 2014 to 2015, Francis' favorability among conservatives has gone from 72 percent to 45 — meaning less than half of those polled now view him favorably. His favorability among liberals has dropped from 82 percent to 68, and his general favorability among all groups declined from 76 percent to 59.
Gallup announced its findings Wednesday on Twitter.
According to NBC News
, the pope's decline in favorability can likely be attributed to two things: the end of the so-called honeymoon period new popes sometimes experience, and his recently released, controversial views on economics and climate change.
Last month, Francis, the first Latin American pope, released an encyclical titled "Laudato si," which decried materialism, capitalism, and global warming. This upset many conservatives, many of who said that capitalism has pulled more people out of poverty than any other economic system in the history of the world.
"He's dumping on capitalism," lifelong Catholic Jack Wynn, 64, fiscal conservative and owner of a public relations firm, told NBC News. "My opinion is this guy is a socialist."
On July 9, on his tour of South America, Francis also raised eyebrows when he called unfettered capitalism "the dung of the devil" in a speech, and accepted a modified crucifix, whereupon Jesus was crucified upon a Communist hammer and sickle, from Bolivian President Evo Morales.
On average, Francis is ranked more favorably than Pope Benedict, but less than Pope John Paul II.
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