US majority prefers candidates who support separation of church and state

US majority prefers candidates who support separation of church and state March 22, 2015

Good news for secular values: A majority of U.S. citizens prefer presidential candidates who believe religion has no place in government according to a recently released CNN poll.

According to the poll, 56% of American voters prefer presidential candidates who believe religious views have no place in government; while 42% of American voters prefer presidential candidates who believe religious views should drive policy actions.

The new CNN poll asks voters to imagine “the perfect candidate to succeed Barack Obama as president.” Voters are then asked:

For each of the following pairs of statements, tell me which one better describes your perfect candidate, even if neither is exactly right.

The following results were obtained when asked about candidates’s religious views shaping government policy decisions:

The candidate believes religious views should drive policy actions 42%

The candidate believes religious views have no place in government 56%

No opinion 2%

Digging deeper into the numbers, CNN reports on the ideological divide when it comes to religious views shaping government policy:

… a majority of Americans would rather have a candidate who says religious views have no place in government (56%) over one who believes religious views ought to drive policy (42%). Here, there are sharp ideological divides. About 6 in 10 Republicans (61%) and conservatives (62%) say they’d rather a candidate who believes religious views should drive policy action, while Democrats (62%) and liberals (82%) break mostly the opposite way. Independents tend to favor the Democrats’ take on this question: 62% say their perfect candidate wouldn’t use religion to make policy choices.

It should come as no surprise that a majority of Republicans (61%) and conservatives (62%) favor candidates who believe religious views should drive public policy.

Nor should it be surprising that most Democrats (62%) and a large majority of liberals (82%) respect the U.S. Constitution and the secular values upon which this nation was founded by affirming the notion that religious views have no place in government.

All in all, the poll represents good news for secular values. Bottom line: A majority of Americans want presidential candidates to honor the separation of church and state.

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