- (Photo: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
A Gallup poll released Friday shows that President Barack Obama enjoys the highest approval rating from Muslims among religious groups. Mormons are the least supportive of Obama.
The poll, which asked how Obama was doing during the first six months of 2014, found that 72 percent of U.S. Muslims approve of the job he is doing, while 20 percent disapprove.
Among "other non-Christians," 59 percent approved of Obama's job performance, 55 percent of "Jewish" adults expressed approval, and 54 percent of those under the "No religion/theist" category said they approve.
Roman Catholics had a 44 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval rating of Obama. Only 37 percent of those in the "Protestant/Other Christian" category expressed approval while 58 percent showed disapproval.
The lowest approval numbers came from the "Mormon/Latter-day Saints" group, however, with only 18 percent approving of Obama's job performance and 78 percent expressing disapproval.
While not mentioned by Gallup, 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who lost to Obama in the last election, is a member of the LDS Church.
In total, the survey noted that Obama has been losing support from the American people. While his total approval rating between January 2009 and June 2014 was at 48 percent, between January and June 2014 it was only at 43 percent, constituting a five percent drop.
Gallup said that the U.S. remains a largely Christian nation, with roughly half of Americans identifying with a Protestant religion and another quarter identifying as Catholics.
"The patterns in Obama's job approval by religion have prevailed throughout his presidency, with Muslim, Jewish, and nonreligious Americans giving him higher ratings, and Mormons and Protestants giving him the lowest ratings. Catholics have typically been closest to the national average, but slightly above it," the survey said.
"Clearly, members of various religions view the president quite differently, but this may be attributable more to whether Obama's Democratic affiliation matches the political leanings of each religious group, and less to the specific policies and actions he has taken throughout his presidency."
Obama has backed minority religion rights during his presidency, and in August 2010 declared his support for a planned Muslim house of worship near the site of the 9/11 attacks.
"Let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama said at the time during a speech at the White House. "And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."
A poll earlier in July by Quinnipiac University of 1,446 voters across the United States showed that Americans find Obama to be the worst president since World War II.
While 33 percent named Obama as the worst president since the Second World War, former President George W. Bush was in second place with 28 percent. Quinnipiac's poll also noted that nearly half, or 45 percent of respondents, believed that the U.S. would be better off if Romney had won the 2012 presidential elections.
Friday's Gallup poll was based on aggregated data from more than 88,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted in the first six months of 2014.
The margin of sampling error for the results based on the total sample is plus/minus one percentage point at the 95 percent confidence level.