Religion Important for Presidential Candidates, or Not?

Some would say that religion shouldn’t play a large part in deciding who the American president should be. Others, however, feel very strongly that religion is always an important part of the candidate’s beliefs and actions.

Religion and Politics

Whether Americans think religion is an import part of the debate or not, one thing is quite clear – they are definitely not paying attention to the actual religious convictions of their candidates.

Importance of Religion

According to a poll that was just released by the Public Research Institute and Religion News Service, more than half of all Americans (56%) say that it is somewhat to very important to them for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. While Republicans hold these opinions even more strongly than democrats (Republicans 71%, Tea Party partisans 72% and Democrats 51%), there is a strong overall desire for the candidates to have strong religious feelings.

Clueless Americans

However, the same Americans are clueless about the actual religious views of their presidential candidates, and even of their sitting president. Nearly 20% of Americans think that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, even though he has often explained that he is Christian. Only 38% of Americans correctly said that he is a Christian.Only 40% of those polled knew that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon, while almost half of Americans (46%) said that they didn’t know his religious affiliation.A Gallup Poll in June found that 22% of Americans said that they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon, even if he is qualified. Perhaps the American public should pay a bit more attention to the religious views of its presidential candidates to make an educated decision in the next election.

Danielle Stoneman

Danielle Stoneman got involved with Left Justified in 2010, having studied political science and journalism throughout her college career. With her fresh approach to Washington’s scene, Stoneman focuses primarily on opinion pieces, providing readers with a highly unique perspective on current affairs. Contact Danielle at info(at)

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