The conventional wisdom in American politics has long been that someone who is not religious cannot be elected president of the United States. Most Americans have consistently said that it is important to them that the president have strong religious beliefs. And a new Pew Research Center survey finds that being an atheist remains one of the biggest liabilities that a presidential candidate can have; fully half of American adults say they would be less likely to vote for a hypothetical presidential candidate who does not believe in God, while just 6% say they would be more likely to vote for a nonbeliever.
The new survey shows that among religious groups, fully half of white evangelical Protestant voters (including both Republicans and those who identify with the Democratic Party or as political independents) think Trump would make a “good” or a “great” president. Evangelicals – who are among the most reliably Republican religious constituencies in the electorate – express a similar degree of confidence that Carson and Cruz would be successful presidents.
On the Democratic side, the view that Sanders and Clinton would be good presidents is most common among two reliably Democratic religious constituencies – black Protestants and religiously unaffiliated voters (i.e., religious “nones”). Read more here.