U.S. Muslims Most Approving of Obama, Mormons Least

Relative rank order of religious groups stable throughout his presidency

July 11, 2014
by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ — Seventy-two percent of U.S. Muslims approved of the job President Barack Obama was doing as president during the first six months of 2014, higher than any other U.S. religious group Gallup tracks. Mormons were least approving, at 18%. In general, majorities of those in non-Christian religions — including those who do not affiliate with any religion — approved of Obama, while less than a majority of those in the three major Christian religious groups did.

Obama Job Approval, by Religion, January-June 2014

The results are based on aggregated data from more than 88,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted in the first six months of 2014 — a time when the president averaged 43% job approval among all Americans. Gallup interviewed 552 Muslims and at least 1,700 respondents in every other religious group during this time.

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.

Moreover, current job approval among each religious subgroup is between five and seven percentage points lower than the full 2009-2014 average for each. Obama’s current 43% overall job approval average is five points lower than his 48% average so far in his presidency.

Comparison of President Obama's January-June 2014 Job Approval to His Presidency's Average, by Religion

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. The accompanying graph shows how Obama’s average approval rating among Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons has compared with the average among all Americans over time. Because the movement in each religious group has shadowed the national movement, Mormons have been least approving of Obama in each time period. Protestants have been consistently below the national average, and Catholics slightly above it.

Trend in President Obama Approval Among Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons

Similarly, Muslims have been the most approving among the religious groups in each time period. Jewish Americans and Americans with no religious preference have also exceeded the national average job approval in each time period, tracking each other closely.

Trend in President Obama Approval Among Muslims, Jews, and Those With No Religious Affiliation

Implications

The patterns in Obama’s job approval by religion have prevailed throughout his presidency, with Muslim, Jewish, and nonreligious Americans giving him higher ratings, and Mormons and Protestants giving him the lowest ratings. Catholics have typically been closest to the national average, but slightly above it.

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.

Clearly, members of various religions view the president quite differently, but this may be attributable more to whether Obama’s Democratic affiliation matches the political leanings of each religious group, and less to the specific policies and actions he has taken throughout his presidency.

Explore President Obama’s approval ratings in depth and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.


 

Survey MethodsResults for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted January-June, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 88,801 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.

Results for religious subgroups are based on the following sample sizes and margins of error:

Sample Sizes and Margins of Error for Religious Groups

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the most recent National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the most recent U.S. census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

The Muslim vote

February 26, 2014

 

The polling firm OpinionWay conducted a poll for the French newspaper Le Figaro and surveyed 10,000 French voters.

According to its findings 93% of French Muslims voted for François Hollande while only 7% voted for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy. An estimated 2 million Muslims participated in the 2012 election and approximately 1.7 million Muslims voted for Hollande rather than Sarkozy. Hollande defeated Sarkozy by 1.1 million votes, which suggests that Muslims provided critical votes that led to Hollande’s victory. However, it should be noted that voting abstention among the Muslim population is greater than within the average population.

The Muslim vote is believed to be a social vote rather than a religious vote and is very traditional concerning social matters such as family. During Hollande’s 2012 presidential campaign he offered amnesty to 400,000 undocumented immigrants from North African countries, many of who are Muslim. Hollande additionally vowed to extend municipal voting rights to residents without French citizenship by the year 2014. These promises prompted Muslims to support the Socialist party because it favors their integration.

Source: http://opinionlab.opinion-way.com/dokumenty/Sondage_jour_de_vote_T2_SOCIOLOGIE_DU_VOTE_2_1.pdf

 

IFOP (Département Opinion et Stratégies d’Enterprise) tracked the evolution of the Muslim vote using data from surveys collected during the 2002, 2007 and 2012 elections to accumulate a sample of 14, 200 voters.

In the first round of the 2012 elections 57% of Muslims voted for Hollande while 7% voted for Sarkozy. According to IFOP in the second round of voting 86% of the Muslim vote went to Hollande while 14% went to Sarkozy.

There is a similar pattern in the 2007 election, which shows that Muslims overwhelmingly supported Royal with 58%, Bayrou with 15% and the Far-left with 10% of the total possible votes.

The 2002 elections display the same trend with 49% voting for the Socialist Party and 19% for the Far-left.

Source: http://www.ifop.fr/media/pressdocument/482-1-document_file.pdf

 

A comprehensive survey entitled “Français comme les autres” published in 2008 polled French of North African and African descent.

Among those who identified as Muslim, 64% declared they voted for the Left in the 2005 election. However after posing the same question to those who identified as nonreligious the results were roughly identical, with 67% voting for the Left. The publication suggests that ethnic origin, the migration process and discrimination within France have created a cultural identity among the population which was the primary factor that influenced the vote.

Source: http://www.fasopo.org/reasopo/n7/societespolitiquescomparees7_livre.pdf

Britons link Islam with extremism, says survey

Most people in the UK associate Islam with extremism and the repression of women, a survey has suggested. The online YouGov poll found 58% of those questioned linked Islam with extremism while 69% believed it encouraged the repression of women.

The survey of 2,152 adults was commissioned by the Exploring Islam Foundation. The organisation has launched a poster campaign on London transport to combat negative perceptions of Muslims.

BBC home editor Mark Easton says the survey, conducted last month, paints a negative picture of British attitudes to Islam. Asked if Muslims had a positive impact on British society, the YouGov poll found four out of 10 disagreed with the statement. Half linked Islam with terrorism, just 13% thought it was based on peace and 6% associated it with justice. Some 60% admitted they did not know much about the religion, but a third said they would like to know more.

The Exploring Islam Foundation hopes to challenge the negative views of the religion with its Inspired By Muhammad project. It will feature posters of Muslim professionals, displayed in central London locations such as bus stops and tube stations, alongside messages emphasising the ways in which Muslims balance religious tradition with contemporary human rights and social responsibility. This campaign is important because it can help non-Muslims to better understand the faith that inspires and guides their Muslim friends, neighbours and colleagues

Remona Aly, campaigns director for the foundation, said many Muslims were concerned about the way their faith was perceived by the public. “We want to foster a greater understanding of what British Muslims are about and our contribution to British society. We are proud of being British and being Muslim,” she said.

A spokesman for the Quilliam Foundation , the counter-extremism think tank, welcomed the campaign, describing it as a “timely step to help improve relations and foster deeper understanding between British citizens”.

“This campaign is important because it can help non-Muslims to better understand the faith that inspires and guides their Muslim friends, neighbours and colleagues. This initiative also helps British Muslims reclaim the Prophet Muhammad as a time-honoured guide for peace, compassion and social justice from those who seek to twist his teachings.”

Muslim Life in Germany

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is presenting the first nationwide representative study, “Muslim Life in Germany”, comprising people from 49 Islamic countries and thus offering an extensive view of Muslim life throughout Germany.

The research commissioned by the Deutsche Islam Konferenz (DIK; hereinafter referred to as the German Conference on Islam) gives unprecedented insight into the diversity of Muslim life in Germany as people from different contexts of origin were questioned about religion in everyday life and about aspects of structural and social integration.

A total of 6,004 people aged 16 and above were surveyed by telephone; together with the information provided about other household members the analyzes are based on data of almost 17,000 people.

The study is in English.

Gallup Poll: Obama receives highest approval from Muslims, among other faiths

A new Gallup Poll during President Obama’s first 100 days in office finds broad support for him among Americans affiliated with most major US religions. US Muslims and Jews gave Obama his highest approval rating, at 85 percent and 79 percent respectively. He also received a favorable response from the majority of Roman Catholics and Protestants polled. According to this latest polling, Obama’s highest approval came from Muslims – more than all other faiths polled. The results of this poll are based on telephone interviews with nearly 100,000 adults polled nationally, conducted between January 21-April 29, 2009.

Most Americans Want Better Relations with Muslim World

According to a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, most Americans think that Barack Obama’’s pledge seeking “a new way forward” with the Muslim world is an important goal, even though many Americans still possess negative views about Islam; virtually half, 48%, said they have an unfavorable view of the religion.

The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans lack a familiarity with the Islam, with 55% saying they lacked a basic understanding of the teachings and beliefs of Islam. Additionally, most respondents noted that they did not know anyone who is Muslim.

Among polling divisions, the findings suggest that Republicans are more likely to hold negative views about Islam and Muslims, when compared to Democrats, and more Catholic respondents hold the view that Islam is a peaceful faith: 60%, when compared to 55% among Protestants, and 48% among white evangelical Protestants. Yet, the majority of all polled agreed that it is important for the new president to try to improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world.

This Washington Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone in late March 2009, among a national random sample of 1,000 adults.

New Washington Post-ABC news poll: Most Americans want better relations with Muslim world

According to a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, most Americans think that Barack Obama’’s pledge seeking “a new way forward” with the Muslim world is an important goal, even though many Americans still possess negative views about Islam; virtually half, 48%, said they have an unfavorable view of the religion.

The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans lack a familiarity with the Islam, with 55% saying they lacked a basic understanding of the teachings and beliefs of Islam. Additionally, most respondents noted that they did not know anyone who is Muslim.

Among polling divisions, the findings suggest that Republicans are more likely to hold negative views about Islam and Muslims, when compared to Democrats, and more Catholic respondents hold the view that Islam is a peaceful faith: 60%, when compared to 55% among Protestants, and 48% among white evangelical Protestants. Yet, the majority of all polled agreed that it is important for the new president to try to improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world.

This Washington Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone in late March 2009, among a national random sample of 1,000 adults.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia rising across Europe, survey finds

Antisemitism and Islamophobia are on the rise across Europe, according to a survey of global opinion released yesterday. In contrast to the US and Britain where unfavourable opinion of Jews has been stable and low for several years at between 7 and 9%, the Pew Survey of Global Attitudes found that hostile attitudes to Jews were rising all across continental Europe from Russia and Poland in the east to Spain and France in the west. The survey found that suspicion of Muslims in Europe was considerably higher than hostility to Jews, but that the increase in antisemitism had taken place much more rapidly. “Great Britain stands out as the only European country included in the survey where there has not been a substantial increase in antisemitic attitudes,” the survey found.

Antisemitism has more than doubled in Spain over the past three years, with a rise from 21% to 46%, the survey of almost 25,000 people across 24 countries found, while more than one in three Poles and Russians also had unfavourable opinions of Jews. In the same period antisemitism in Germany and France also rose – from 21% to 25% in Germany and from 12% to 20% in France among those saying they had unfavourable opinions of Jews. “Opinions of Muslims in almost all of these countries was were more negative than are views of Jews,” analysts said. While Americans and Britons displayed the lowest levels of antisemitism, one in four in both countries were hostile to Muslims. Such Islamophobia was lower than in the rest of Europe. More than half of Spaniards and half of Germans said that they did not like Muslims and the figures for Poland and France were 46% and 38% for those holding unfavourable opinions of Muslims. Ian Traynor reports.

See full-text articles:

Pew Report

International Herald Tribune

Middle East Online

Daily Times

Guardian

Most Muslim Voters in France Lean to the Left

In this short summary of a recent study by the IFOP (Institut Français d’Opinion Publique or the French Institute of Public Opinion) published in La Croix on September 1st, based on a study of 3280 French Muslims between 2003-2008, 51% vote for the PS (Socialist Party). 26.8% of the rest of the French population typically vote for the PS. Including those with sympathies to the extreme left and the ecologist party, more than 73% of those Muslims polled were leftist voters.

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Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Larger 2004 study done by the IFOP on political orientation and Muslims in France available here.