July/August 2008 Church & State | AU Bulletin

The majority of Americans, across all religious groups, do not support clergy endorsements of political candidates from the pulpit, according to a recent poll.

The National Survey on Religion and Public Life conducted by the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics polled 3,002 Americans belonging to 18 different religious groupings about their political attitudes, affiliations and preferences.

Fifty-seven percent said clergy should not “be permitted to endorse political candidates during worship services.” Only 28 percent said they should (with 15 percent offering no opinion.)

Fifty-five percent of Evangelicals and 66 percent of Catholics opposed pulpit partisanship.

The poll also gauged political party affiliations of differing religious groups. Mainline Protestants tend to self-identify with the Democratic Party (46 percent) while Evangelical Protestants favor the Republican Party (54 percent.)

Overall, the poll’s conclusion shows faith will continue to play a significant role in this year’s elections.