Poll: Americans Split on Mixing Faith and Politics

Americans are about evenly split over whether their religious faith influences their views on political issues, according to a new poll conducted by Barna Group for the American Bible Society.

When asked, "how much would you say your faith influences your views on political issues," a little more than half of the sample (53 percent) answered "a great deal" (27 percent) or "somewhat" (26 percent). A little less than half (45 percent) answered "a little" (14 percent) or "not at all" (31 percent).

The youngest age group, 18- to 27-year-olds, were the most likely to say "not at all" (37 percent). Those aged 47 to 65 were the most likely to answer "a great deal" (33 percent).

The survey suggests that Americans are also about equally divided over whether the Bible and politics mix and whether they would be "more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who consistently uses the Bible for guidance in both personal and public decisions."

Forty-nine percent agreed and 45 percent disagreed with the statement, "the Bible and politics do not mix."

About the same split occurred with the question about voting for a presidential candidate that uses the Bible for guidance. Forty-nine percent said they would be more likely to vote for such a candidate, 46 percent said they would not be more likely to vote for such a candidate.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said they would vote for a candidate that does not believe in God, while 59 percent said they would not.

In recent interviews with Cathedral Age, both of the major party's presidential candidates, President Barack Obama, a Protestant Christian, and Mitt Romney, a Latter-day Saint, spoke about how their faith influences their lives and recounted their favorite Bible verses. Obama said he receives a daily devotional with Bible verses or writings from Christian authors.

The survey of 1,016 adults was conducted Feb. 24 through March 5. The sampling error was not reported.

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