Muslims Highly Approve of Obama, Mormons Lowest, According to New Poll

( [email protected] ) Jul 14, 2014 12:28 PM EDT
President Obama
President Barack Obama grins at the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington (Photo : Reuters) 

Although President Barack Obama's approval ratings have dropped significantly over his presidential term, one group still views him in favorable light: American Muslims.

According to a recent Gallup poll conducted in the first six months of 2014, 72 percent of U.S. Muslims approve of the job President Obama is doing. This rating was by far the highest among religious groups, with the next highest at 59 percent of "other non-Christians."

Among "other non-Christians," 59 percent approved of Obama's job performance, 55 percent of "Jewish" adults expressed approval, and 54 percent of those under the "No religion/theist" category said they approve.

Roman Catholics had a 44 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval rating of Obama. Only 37 percent of those in the "Protestant/Other Christian" category expressed approval while 58 percent showed disapproval.

However, Mormons expressed the lowest support for President Obama's work with just an 18 percent approval rating and a staggering 78 percent disapproval. According to the poll, Obama's approval rating has decreased across religious groups by 5-7 percentage points in the first half of 2014 compared to the 2009-14 period.

"The relative rank order of the religious groups on job approval has been consistent throughout Obama's presidency. In fact, the current rank order, with Muslims most approving and Mormons least, exactly matches the order seen over the more than five years he has been in office since January 2009," the poll states.

The margin of sampling error for the results based on the total sample is plus/minus one percentage point at the 95 percent confidence level.

According to a previous poll conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), 85% of American Muslims voted for Obama in the 2012 election -- down just 4 percentage points from the 2008 election. This record support for Obama demonstrates a decades-long shift toward the Democratic party among Muslim Americans, a large percentage of whom voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992 and George W. Bush in 2000.

The poll concluded that the U.S. remains a largely Christian nation, as nearly 75% of Americans identify with a Christian religion.

"The patterns in Obama's job approval by religion have prevailed throughout his presidency, with Muslim, Jewish, and nonreligious Americans giving him higher ratings, and Mormons and Protestants giving him the lowest ratings. Catholics have typically been closest to the national average, but slightly above it," the survey said.

"Clearly, members of various religions view the president quite differently, but this may be attributable more to whether Obama's Democratic affiliation matches the political leanings of each religious group, and less to the specific policies and actions he has taken throughout his presidency."

Throughout his presidency, Obama has vocally supported minority rights, even announcing his approval for a Muslim mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks.

"Let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama said at the time during a speech at the White House. "And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."