You won’t be surprised that the Pew Research Center, in a survey released today, found that atheism is still the biggest political liability a candidate could have.
What may be surprising is that the candidate deemed as the least religious is the Republican frontrunner.
So while Bernie Sanders explicitly says he’s “not actively involved with organized religion,” it’s Trump with his blatant attempts to convince people he’s Christian who is thought of as the least religious. So much for authenticity.
60% of voters surveyed said they didn’t think of Trump as religious while only 35% said the same thing of Sanders.
Keep in mind that in a general election, atheism is still the biggest liability you could have. 51% of adults said they would be less likely to vote for someone if they thought the candidate were an atheist:
The only upside to that is that the 51% who despise atheists that much is the lowest such percentage we’ve ever seen.
With younger people becoming increasingly non-religious, this trend is bound to continue in the right direction.
Also, in the least surprising news of all, a majority of Americans without any religion affiliation think Sanders would make an excellent president. Only 15% of the Nones — presumably not the atheists — think the same way about Ted Cruz (who had the highest approval from the Nones among any of the Republican candidates).
None of this is eye-opening news. It’s just a reminder that openly atheist Presidential candidates have an uphill climb. The best thing you can do in that situation, if you don’t want to lie, is play down your faith and focus on preserving everyone’s religious rights.