As we draw closer to a presidential election, polls and surveys will go into overdrive, covering everything from religion to science and, well, probably back to religion again. Below are three polls with interesting snapshots for the next political season that have news for atheists, scientists, and people who skip church.
1) An atheist president is still a long way off
Despite being in a country where most politicians claim to be Christians, but still manage to find their way into corruption, adultery, and—well, you know the drill—most Americans still seem more comfortable electing someone who is religious. According to the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press:
…while 70% of Republicans say they would be less likely to support a candidate who does not believe in God, Democrats are more ambivalent: 42% say they would be less likely to support an atheist, while 49% say it wouldn’t matter to them.
2) The Tea Party in New Hampshire have little faith in scientists on environmental issues
A study by the Carsey Institute of the University of New Hampshire asked New Hampshire residents: “Would you say that you trust, don’t trust, or are unsure about scientists as a source of information about environmental issues?” With the latest news showing that the West Antarctic’s giant glaciers are on an unstoppable retreat, you might think everyone would start listening to scientists. But that would be underestimating the Tea Party.
“…strong majorities in most groups trust scientists for environmental information: 83 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents, and 60 percent of non-tea party Republicans. This picture shifts drastically with the fourth political group, however. Among tea party Republicans, only 28 percent trust scientists. The proportion saying they do not trust scientists jumps from 9 percent among other Republicans to 43 percent among tea party Republicans.”
3) PRRI knows what you did last Sunday
The new Public Religion Research Institute study, cleverly titled, “I Know What You Did Last Sunday,” finds that “every subgroup of Americans inflates their levels of religious participation, with young adults, Catholics and white mainline Protestants particularly likely to inflate the frequency of their attendance at religious services.” Among the many interesting numbers they turned up:
“When interviewed by telephone, fewer than 3-in-10 (29 percent) white mainline Protestants report that they seldom or never attend religious services, compared to 45 percent of white mainline Protestants who took the self-administered online survey.”