Atheists are no longer the least appealing presidential candidates, but they are not far behind

Atheists are no longer the least appealing presidential candidates, but they are not far behind June 23, 2015

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A new Gallup Poll released today highlights what kind of candidate American voters are willing to vote for, and while the results are not all that surprising, some shifts in the thoughts of the electorate are.

Republicans are clearly the most discriminatory voting block the US has, as they are the only group when compared to Democrats and Independents who have multiple voting groups under 50% (Independents did have one).

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One thing all three party’s could agree with is, they are not fond of socialists. Yet while Democrats came in at 59 percent accepting of a socialist candidate and Independents at 49 percent, Republicans came in at an alarming 26 percent. That is a 33 point different between Democrats and Republicans on socialists.

Not all that surprising, however, given that if the last 7 years of an Obama presidency has taught us anything, it is that the Republican base has no idea what a socialist is.

Muslims, unsurprisingly, come in as the second least appealing presidential candidate, but really only for the Republican Party, who came in at 45 percent, tied with atheists. Muslims and atheists fared much better with Democrats and Independents.

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One very telling factor is age. The younger the voter, the more accepting of socialists, Muslims and atheists they become. In fact, in the 19-29 voter group, atheists tie evangelical Christians at 75 percent, great news for atheists, terrible news for evangelicals who are seeing their political grip loosen year after year.

Across all age groups and political party’s, however, Jewish candidates fared very well, something previous poll data had shown when looking at trust among religious groups.

This puts a candidate like Bernie Sanders in an interesting position. Sanders is Jewish, and though he is running for president as a Democrat, he is a well known democratic socialist who looks to other democratic socialist nations across Europe for inspiration. Though had this poll come out when he originally announced his candidacy it would have seemed his fate was secured, but his recent poll numbers indicate that he is more than overcoming the odds.

The poll itself reveals some other troubling information such that 9 percent of Republicans still wouldn’t vote for a woman, but even 3 percent of Democrats should be alarming. To think in 2015 that someone’s gender plays a role in their electability is simply mind blowing.

Overall, the poll shows progress, but should serve as a reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done.

[Image: BernieSanders.com / Media Kit]


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