New results from the largest academic election poll show that more evangelical or born-again White Protestants favor President Bush, his party and views, than Hispanics. The data also suggests that evangelical or born-again White Protestants are the largest group in support of President Bush.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania conducted the National Annenberg Election Survey, in which 3,715 registered voters were interviewed between July 1 and 21. The results were compared alongside data collected from the 2000 Annenberg survey, in which 3,311 registered voters were also interviewed from July 1 through 21.
Evangelical or born-again White Protestants make up 26% of the population, constituting a bigger group than African-Americans and Hispanics put together, the survey found.
While 51% of evangelical or born-again White Protestants are Republican, up from 43% four years ago, the majority of Hispanics, 45%, are Democrats, up from 39% in 2000. African-Americans have held a consistent Democratic majority with 65% in 2000 and 66% in 2004.
View on Bush
The survey also shows Bush gaining popularity among evangelical or born-again White Protestant, while losing popularity among Hispanics and African-Americans.
Last election year, sixty-three percent evangelical or born-again White Protestants viewed Bush favorably but that percentage has jumped to seventy-one percent this year. The percentage of this group viewing Bush unfavorably has remained the same for the past four years at 19 percent.
Despite their Democratic leaning, a majority of Hispanics has a favorable view of Bush. However, the numbers who view Bush favorable has decreased while the opposite trend has been observed among those who view him unfavorable. This year, forty-eight percent of Hispanics had a favorable view of Bush compared to 56% in 2000. From the 30% of Hispanics who view Bush unfavorably in 2000, that percentage has increased to 38% this year.
African-Americans indicated similar trends as the Hispanics in terms of Bush’s popularity. Compared to 34% of African-Americans who had a favorable view and 40% unfavorably, twelve percent now view Bush favorably and 72% unfavorably.
According to the survey, on a range of answers from registered voters, the born-again or evangelical White Protestants were more supportive of Bush and more conservative than other groups. Among born-again or evangelical white Protestants, 72 percent of them approved of his handling of the presidency, compared to 53 percent for white Protestants who said they were not born-again or evangelical, 51 percent for white Catholics, 52 percent for Hispanics and 14 percent for African-Americans.
Born-again or evangelical White Protestant support for Bush’s handling of presidency remained consistent on his positions regarding same-sex “marriage” and the Iraq War.
Concerning a constitutional amendment to prohibit states from having same-sex “marriages,” more than half the born-again or evangelical Protestants said they supported the measure compared to the 38 percent of other white Protestants, 39 percent of white Catholics, 45 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of blacks.
On Iraq, born-again or evangelical white Protestants were the only group to have a majority supporting effort. Sixty-three percent of the born-again or evangelical white Protestants said the war there had been worth it, while 32 percent said it had not. Other white Protestants were split at 49 percent on both sides. Forty-four percent of white Catholics said the war was worth it while 51 percent said it was not. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanics said it was worth it, while 66 percent said it was not. Among blacks, just 9 percent said the war was worth it while 84 percent said it was not.
Annenbery Public Policy has been tracking the presidential campaign since October 7 and interviewing will continue until after Election Day. Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the director of the survey. Ken Winneg is the managing director of the survey. Adam Clymer is the political director of the survey.