Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

A new Pew poll finds that Americans see Hillary Clinton as the least religious among the Democrats’ top three presidential contenders. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life poll finds that 31-percent of Americans see Hillary as “not too religious” or “not at all religious,” while only 16-percent feel the same way about rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards. With all the commentariat’s talk of the need for the next Democratic nominee to win back some religious voters the party lost in 2004, it’s only natural that God-o-Meter ask whether these numbers spell trouble for Clinton.
The poll reports that Americans—even those not religious themselves—are much more likely to look favorably upon candidates perceived as religious. So 87-percent of those who see Clinton as “very religious” have a favorable view of her, while only 22-percent of those who see her as “not too religious” or “not at all religious” view her favorably. The potential bad news for Clinton is not only that nearly a third of Americans see her as not very or not at all religious, but that just 16 percent see her as very religious, compared to 28 percent who feel the same way about Edwards and 24 percent who feel that way about Obama.
Pew notes in its analysis, and God-o-Meter concurs, that these new numbers don’t threaten Clinton’s frontrunner status in her party. But if the general election is as close as it’s been in recent years, they could cause problems in November.


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