Most Americans would rather have a president who believes in God rather than one who doesn't. In a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, Americans ranked atheism as the most negative trait that could be displayed by presidential candidates who plan to seek the White House in 2016.
Atheism was ranked the lowest on a list of 16 presidential traits where military service was ranked as the most appealing.
"Not believing in God and never having held elected office before are the most negatively viewed traits among those tested. Just over half (53 percent) say they would be less likely to vote for someone who does not believe in God, while only 5 percent say this would make them more likely to support a candidate," noted an overview of the study.
Voters are also placing less emphasis on Washington experience for candidates seeking the White House, but still don't view candidates who have never held any elected office favorably.
According to the study, 30 percent of voters involved in the study said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate with "many years" of experience as an elected official in Washington, while some 19 percent viewed the experience favorably. Some 48 percent said extensive experience in Washington wouldn't matter.
For candidates who have never held any elected office, the study noted that 52 percent of voters would be less likely to vote for them. Only 9 percent of voters said inexperience as an elected official would increase the likelihood of them supporting that candidate.
The study was based on telephone interviews conducted April 23-27, 2014, among a national sample of 1,501 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, according to the Pew Research Center.