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Muslims and Atheists–Least Popular Presidential Choices in the USA

23 June 2012 General 5 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ — While more than nine in 10 Americans would vote for a presidential candidate who is black, a woman, Catholic, Hispanic, or Jewish, significantly smaller percentages would vote for one who is an atheist (54%) or Muslim (58%). Americans’ willingness to vote for a Mormon (80%) or gay or lesbian (68%) candidate falls between these two extremes.













The results are based on a June 7-10 Gallup poll, updating a question Gallup first asked in 1937 in reference to a female, Jewish, or Catholic candidate and has asked periodically since then, with additional candidate characteristics added to the list. The question has taken on added relevance in recent years as a more diverse group of candidates has run for president. This year, Mitt Romney is poised to become the first Mormon to win a major-party presidential nomination. However, Americans’ willingness to vote for a Mormon has changed little in 45 years.

Notwithstanding the Mormon trend, Gallup’s history on this question shows growing acceptance for all other types of candidates over time. That includes atheists, whose acceptability as candidates surpassed 50% for the first time last summer but have typically ranked at the bottom of the list whenever the question has been asked.

In 1937, less than half of Americans said they would vote for a Jewish or female presidential candidate; now 90% or more would. The same applies to voting for a black candidate compared with 1958. Over time, Americans’ acceptance of blacks and women as candidates has increased the most.

>> Continue reading: Muslims and Atheists–Least Popular Presidential Choices in the USA


  1. shows some growth. but looks like a gay athiest has no hope. i wonder if they polled muslims, what the numbers would be? so would any of the muslims here vote for a gay athiest?

    what would muhammad do?

  2. Not surprising. Not having belief in any deity can be a frightening thought to many people. However I wonder if atheist candidates would still rank the lowest if Satanist and Wiccan were thrown into the mix. Those sound überscary, to people who don’t really know what they are. And forget about openly trans… that totally nixes the whole, ideal family thing, for many. I’m not saying that it isn’t great we’ve come so far. It totally is. And obviously, it isn’t surprising about the number willing to vote for a black candidate or a female candidate, given that one has become elected and the other came fairly close. Interesting to see, though, too, how people felt about, for instance, a black woman, or an hispanic woman…

  3. Just shows you how absolutely stupid Americans are today. The one group of people who don’t want to tell anyone how to live their lives and everyone is afraid of them. Idiots.

  4. no muslim what to comment on voting for an atheist? or for an openly gay person?

    M? mr bennet?

  5. Some atheists definitely want to tell you how to live your life. The atheist record on human rights is not good, neither is the muslim. Satanism, Wicca, etc. arouse I think more scorn than fright. Prancing around for the solstice, hahaha. Invoking Thor, woo woo.

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