Six in 10 Would Vote for an Atheist for President
A record 58 percent of Americans would vote to elect an atheist
for president if their political party nominated a non-believer for the
White House, a new poll reveals.
The Gallup survey asked: "Between now and the 2016 political
conventions, there will be discussion about the qualifications of
presidential candidates — their education, age, religion, race and so
on. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for
president who happened to be an atheist, would you vote for that
Only 40 percent said they would not vote for an atheist versus the 58 percent who said they would. The rest were not sure.
Gallup first asked a similar question in 1958, and only 18
percent of respondents at that time said they would vote for an atheist,
and 75 percent would not.
As recently as 2007, 53 percent said they would not vote for an atheist and 45 percent said they would.
And in the most recent survey before the new one, in June 2012,
a majority, 54 percent, said they would vote for an atheist and 43
percent said they would not.
Younger Americans are far more likely to say they would vote
for a non-believer — 75 percent of those 18 to 29 years old would vote
for an atheist, while just 34 percent of those ages 65 and above would
Democrats are more likely to vote for an atheist — 64 percent said they would, compared to just 45 percent of Republicans.
Gallup also found that a majority of respondents would vote for a White House candidate regardless of his or her religion.
According to the survey, 93 percent would vote for a Catholic,
91 percent for a Jewish candidate, 81 percent for a Mormon, 73 percent
for an evangelical Christian, and 60 percent for a Muslim.
Three-quarters of respondents said they would vote for a gay or
lesbian candidate, and 92 percent would vote for a woman or a black
A majority of Democrats, 59 percent, said they would vote for a
socialist candidate, but only 26 percent of Republicans would do so.
Gallup noted: "The general trend is that Americans have become significantly more accepting over time."