Black Protestants' approval of Biden is plummeting: Pew poll

Parishioners worship at a predominantly African-American church in this file photo.
Parishioners worship at a predominantly African-American church in this file photo. | Reuters/John Gress

African American Protestant approval of President Joe Biden's job performance has plummeted by nearly 30 percentage points since March 2021, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.

According to a Pew survey conducted in January, 65% of black Protestants approve of the job that Biden has done, marking a sharp decline from the 92% reported in March 2021.

Pew research assistant Justin Nortey wrote in an analysis last week that “there have been sizable declines in positive ratings from black Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated — two groups that are among the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies.”

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“Black Protestants and religiously unaffiliated Americans have long been staunchly Democratic,” Nortey added. “Nine-in-10 black Protestants (91%) voted for Biden in 2020, as did seven-in-10 nones (71%).”

The second Roman Catholic Church member to serve as president of the United States, Biden has also seen a decline in support among fellow Catholics, according to the data. 

Forty-six percent of Catholics said they approve of Biden’s job performance, which is down from 56% reported in March 2021. Hispanic Catholics were more likely to approve of Biden’s job performance than white Catholics.

For the recent analysis, Pew drew from a survey conducted Jan. 10–17 of 5,128 respondents. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

The survey found that 14% of white Evangelicals approve of Biden's job performance, down from 22% in March 2021. Meanwhile, the White Protestant approval of Biden has fallen from 40% in March 2021 to 31% in January. 

Among respondents who affiliate with a religion, the data found that black Protestants were the group most likely to believe that Biden will be a successful president, with 35% agreeing with the idea and 49% saying it's “too early to tell.” About 14% of black Protestants believe he would be unsuccessful as a president.

In contrast, only 7% of white Evangelical respondents said they believe Biden would be a successful president, with 78% saying he would be unsuccessful and 15% saying it's “too early to tell.”

Last year, a Pew report found that black Protestants and black Evangelicals were the only two religious groups where a majority believed they would gain influence under Biden.

Among both groups, 55% said they expected “people like them” to gain influence in the Biden administration, while 4% of black Protestants and 5% of black Evangelicals said they thought they would lose influence.

The Pew data comes as Biden is expected to nominate a black female to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court to be vacated by the planned retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer after the end of the court's term.  

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