Survey: Obama Support Down among Christians

( [email protected] ) Feb 22, 2010 12:34 PM EST
President Obama’s support among born-again Christians has decreased after a year in office, a new survey shows.
President Barack Obama takes part in a town hall meeting, Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, at Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nev. AP Images / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Obama’s support among born-again Christians has decreased after a year in office, a new survey shows.

Among all born-again Christians, 35 percent are satisfied with the job the president is doing, according to a survey conducted by The Barna Group. Back in the 2008 election, 42 percent of all born-again adults voted for then Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“The study suggests that many Americans may be losing their patience with President Obama,” the Barna survey noted. “[I]t appears that many committed Christians who were supportive of Mr. Obama during the election campaign are substantially less supportive of him today.”

A born-again Christian is defined in the study as people who said they had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated belief that when they die they will go to heaven because they had confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior.

Not all born-again Christians are evangelicals by Barna’s standards. Evangelicals meet all the born again criteria plus seven additional conditions.

Among evangelicals, Obama’s job approval was even lower. Only 18 percent of evangelicals said they were satisfied with the president’s job performance.

But Obama’s job approval was significantly higher among the general American public, with 42 percent saying they are satisfied. Though the figure is a significantly higher figure than for both born-again and evangelical Christians, it still signifies that most of Americans are dissatisfied with his job performance.

In general, Americans believe the president’s top priority should be to restore the national economy.

But most Americans are dissatisfied with Obama’s efforts so far on this issue. Only 42 percent of the overall public said they are satisfied. The percentage drops even lower among some categories of Christians: 26 percent for evangelicals, 38 percent for all born-again Christians, and 39 percent for Protestants.

Notably, Catholics were slightly more satisfied (43 percent) with the president’s effort than Americans overall.

There were a few categories, however, where the majority of Americans said they are satisfied with the president’s job performance: on the environment and fighting terrorism.

But there are more categories where most Americans are dissatisfied with Obama’s work, including on tax policies, the war in the Middle East, reforming the political system, and health care reform.

“While most people recognize the complexities of the job, they have high expectations of their leader and have been generally disappointed during the first year of the Obama administration,” the study noted.

The study is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,005 adults across the United States, on Feb. 7-10, 2010.