Americans largely are either indifferent or have at least a somewhat unfavorable view of Pop Francis, according to a new poll.
Nearly one-third of Americans (31%) “don’t know” whether they hold a “favorable” or “unfavorable” view of the Catholic leader at the Vatican, while 14% view him somewhat unfavorably and another 12% have a very unfavorable view of him in the latest YouGov poll released by The Economist. A minority of Americans (43%) view him at least somewhat favorably (31%) or very favorably (12%).
With Pope Francis being critical of American conservatism, Americans by nearly a 2-to-1 margin believe the Catholic leader should “stay out of U.S. domestic affairs,” according to YouGov analysis.
“In the aftermath of Pope Francis offering a critique of some conservative American Catholics, our poll finds that more Americans think Pope Francis should stay out of U.S. domestic affairs (46%) than think he should take an active part when he thinks he can help (25%),” the analysis read. “By 44% to 36%, Catholics are more likely to think he should stay out of U.S. domestic affairs rather than participate.”
A majority of self-described American liberals have at least a somewhat favorably view of Pope Francis (57%), while just 17% those identifying as conservative view him at least somewhat favorably.
Conservative Catholics remain behind their church, though.
“Ideologically conservative Catholics are particularly positive about the Catholic Church in general and far less positive about the pope: 84% have a favorable opinion of the Catholic Church, while just 47% have a favorable opinion of Pope Francis,” according to YouGov.
“The pope is seen as more liberal than the Catholic Church itself, particularly among Roman Catholics. About one-quarter of Catholics (28%) say Pope Francis is too liberal, and 16% of Catholics say he makes them think less positively about the church.”
Registered Republicans see Pope Francis as “very liberal” or “liberal” to a combined 40%, a figure that is just 14% among registered Democrats. Less than 20% of either of the U.S. major two parties say Pope Francis is “conservative” or “very conservative.”
Just 4% of Democrats say the pope is “too liberal,” though, compared to 39% of Republicans.
YouGov polled 1,500 U.S. adults and 1,329 registered U.S. voters Sept. 2-5 for The Economist. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for U.S. adults and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for registered voters.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016, starting on the first night of the Republican National Convention. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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