Poll: Americans more apt to back Jewish candidates than evangelicals, Muslims

When the question about religion was first asked in 1937, less than half of Americans said they would vote for a Jewish candidate.

By JTA
June 23, 2015 13:15
1 minute read.
COLORADO RESIDENTS vote in the US midterm elections last week

COLORADO RESIDENTS vote in the US midterm elections. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Ninety-one percent of Americans said they would vote for a presidential candidate who is Jewish, according to a new poll.

The Gallup poll of recent voting preferences released Monday showed that 73 percent of Americans would support an evangelical Christian for president, while 60 percent would back a Muslim and 58 percent an atheist.

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The latest results on voting for a Jewish candidate matched those from June 2012. When the question about religion was first asked in 1937, less than half of Americans said they would vote for a Jewish candidate.

In addition to asking about religions, the poll, which was conducted via telephone interviews from June 2 to 7, asked the 1,527 participants aged 18 and older about their willingness to vote for gay or lesbian, African-American, Latino, female and socialist presidential candidates. Ninety-two percent said they would vote for an African-American and/or a woman and 74 percent a gay or lesbian. Forty-seven percent said they would consider voting for a socialist.

Both Democrats (92 percent) and Republicans (95 percent) expressed willingness to vote for a Jewish candidate, but they differed in their willingness to vote for candidates of various other faiths. Among Republicans, 84 percent said they would vote for an evangelical, compared to 66 percent of Democrats, and more Democrats were willing to vote for a Muslim (73 percent) than Republicans (45 percent). Some 64 percent of Democrats would vote for an atheist, compared to 45 percent of Republicans.

Considerably higher percentages of Democrats than Republicans — 85 percent compared to 61 percent — would vote for a gay or lesbian.

US Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the only announced Jewish candidate in the 2016 presidential race. Although Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination, is independent, he has described himself as a democratic socialist and speaks out frequently against income inequality.

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The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Respondents came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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