Catholics' approval of Trump was 38%, similar to the national average
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump received well-above-average
job approval ratings in 2017 from Mormons and Protestants, and well-below-average
ratings from those who identify with a non-Christian faith, including
Muslims and Jews, and from those who have no formal religious identity.
Catholics' approval of Trump roughly matched the national average.
Trump Job Approval, by Religious Identification
Other non-Christian religion
GALLUP DAILY, 2017
These results are based on more than 122,000 interviews conducted as part
of Gallup Daily tracking in 2017, with sample sizes ranging from 60,411
Protestants to 893 Muslims.
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The pattern of Trump's job approval rating among religious groups reflects
the general structure of religion and politics in the U.S. today rather
than anything particularly unusual about the Trump presidency. In recent
decades, Protestants and Mormons have typically been more likely to identify
as Republicans and to approve of Republican presidents -- and to disapprove
of Democratic presidents. Catholics have typically been similar to the
overall national population in their political views, as they were for
Trump in 2017. Those who identify with non-Christian religions and those
who have no religious identity at all are typically less likely to identify
as Republican and less likely to approve of a Republican president.
Data on Americans'
images of Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign reflected this same underlying pattern
of differences across religious groups. And Gallup's analysis of
Barack Obama's job approval ratings across religious groups showed the same patterns in reverse -- with Muslims
the most positive about Obama and Mormons the least positive.
Also, the rank order of approval by religious group for Trump is similar
to what it was for George W. Bush in 2008, the last year prior to 2017
that a Republican president occupied the White House.
Whites Drive Protestants' High Approval of Trump
Protestants are among the most likely religious groups to approve of Trump,
and are the largest religious group in the U.S., encompassing 48% of the
adult population. The broad "Protestant" category includes all
Christians who do not identify as Catholic or Mormon, and almost half
of this group approved of Trump's job performance during 2017 -- nine
percentage points above his overall average.
The Protestant category is a "big tent," and more specifically
includes three groups with differing political orientations -- white Protestants,
black Protestants and Hispanic Protestants. Trump's above-average
approval rating among Protestants is being driven by white Protestants,
six in 10 of whom approve of the job Trump is doing, essentially the same
as Mormons. In sharp contrast, only 10% of black Protestants approve,
with the 28% approval among Hispanic Protestants well below the national average.
Trump Job Approval, by Protestant Group
White, non-Hispanic Protestants (70% of all Protestants)
Hispanic Protestants (9%)
Black, non-Hispanic Protestants (18%)
GALLUP DAILY, 2017
Hispanic Catholics Much Less Positive About Trump than White Catholics
American Catholics -- about 23% of the overall adult population -- give
Trump an approval rating that is about at the national average. Similarly,
Catholics' political party identification matches the national pattern
Exit poll data from the 2016 election suggested that despite this underlying parity,
Catholics tilted slightly toward Trump over Clinton in their vote, while
Clinton won the overall national popular vote.
Part of the reason for the Catholic vote tilting toward Trump may be the
differences in turnout among white and Hispanic Catholics -- and the fact
that these two groups of Catholics differ substantially in their views
of the president. About 33% of U.S. Catholic adults are Hispanic, and
only 17% of these approve of the job Trump is doing as president. Non-Hispanic
white Catholics, in turn, give Trump a 51% job approval rating, well above
the national average.
Trump Job Approval, by Catholic Group
GALLUP DAILY, 2017
Hispanic Catholics also have a significantly lower job approval rating
of Trump than do Hispanic Protestants.
Jews' Approval of Trump Remains Low
American Jews' 28% approval rating for Trump is significantly below
the national average. This reflects the strong underlying connection between
Jews and the Democratic Party; in 2017, 65% of Jews identified with or
leaned toward the Democratic Party, 20 points above the national average. And
exit poll data showed that 71% of Jews voted for Clinton in 2016, compared with 23% who
voted for Trump.
Trump has adopted a pro-Israel position in his presidency so far, evidenced
particularly by his announcement last year that the U.S. would move its
embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But the historical record
suggests it's unlikely that any of this will make a significant difference
in how Jews in the U.S. view his presidency.
Views of Trump vary widely across religious groups in the U.S. today, but
this reflects the stable underlying structure of religion and politics,
rather than new patterns specific to Trump's presidency. Trump may
continue to make efforts to target and reach out to specific religious
groups, but the evidence shows that it will be difficult to bring about
a fundamental change in how those who identify with various religions
view a Republican president.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted
Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample
of 122,322 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 points at
the 95% confidence level. The sample sizes and margin of sampling error
for specific religious groups are in the accompanying table. The margin
of sampling error varies for each of these subgroups. All reported margins
of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone
respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas
by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are
selected using random-digit-dial methods.