William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Obama Approval Rating By Religion

Mormons, according to the pollsters Gallup, are more dissatisfied with Mr Obama than are any other group of folk. And not only that: Mormons’ dissatisfaction is dropping faster than is any other religious groups’.

Assuming the Gallup poll is a reasonable measure of attitudes—and also assuming that the question “Do you approve of the job President Obama is doing?” is meaningful—we can say that only 1 in every 4 of every Mormons likes Mr Obama. This small number is probably, at least in part, due to what we can call the Glenn Beck effect.

It’s not all gloom. Those that are most inclined to sing Mr Obama’s praises are Muslims. They started out highly in favor and, while their approbation has dropped slightly, they have stayed fans. This must be judged a success, since one of the stated goals of Democrats before Mr Obama’s election was to “reach out” to Muslims, to say to them It’s nothing personal.

One of the mistakes organizations like Gallup makes is to present their results in table form, in unsorted order, when a picture would do a better job. Thus, a graphic of the Gallup table:

Obama approval rating by religion

Although it’s all in the table, it’s now no effort (and no surprise) to see that Non-Christian religious people, Jewish, and Atheists are all of a mind, at least regarding approval of Mr Obama: it’s sinking, but not as fast as it is for Catholics. The change in rate of decrease for Protestants is as likely to be an artifact of sampling as it is to be a real phenomenon.

The “All” is an average of Americans across religious groups. Since Catholics form a plurality, the “All” line tends to follow them. Muslims only make up from 1 to 6 million of the population (sources vary in their estimates).

Just a small lesson that pictures are often superior to words.

Have a good Labor Day all.

15 Comments

  1. Mormons’ dissatisfaction is dropping faster than is any other religious groups’.

    Perhaps you meant their “satisfaction is dropping faster” or “dissatisfaction is rising faster.”

  2. I have the impression that most presidents’ 2nd year approval ratings are always in a downtrend from the time they were inaugurated.

    It’s interesting to see how they differ among various religious groups.

  3. Since we’re nit-picking writing skills, Non-Christian religious people, Jewish, and Atheists are … implies either 1) Jews and Atheists are Christian or 2) assuming a misplaced comma ** after “Jewish” then Muslims, Hindi, pagans, etc. are Christian.

    I’m curious how many babies are born on Labor day vs. any other day?

    ** “Non-Christian religious people, Jewish and Atheists, are … “

  4. Your lack of good grammar in your articles and your resume may affect your creditability.

  5. “…may affect your creditability.”

    Not to mention his ability to get a loan.

  6. My wife is a grammar nazi. It is not her most endearing quality.

  7. Noblesse Oblige

    5 September 2010 at 5:39 pm

    No wonder Mormons are so successful; they are smarter.

  8. Once you consider the margin of error there may be no difference between religions for approval rating.

  9. I meant for the trend of change of approval rating.

  10. Thank you, Matt. Even with the [alleged] typos at least there was something here on which the nazi’s amongst us might carp. No offense intended.

  11. Most interesting here, IMO, is the large gap between Mormons and Muslims.

    That Jews and Catholics are somewhere in between? Not that interesting– I tend to find that Jews and Catholics often agree on matters political. But like Luis, I am skeptical of the trend being meaningful.

    49er,

    My grandmother had a saying that I think is best served in the original Yiddish, given the use of the Nazi-word here: Zingen ken ich nit, ober a maivin bin ich. (I can’t sing, but I’m an expert on it. )

  12. Ari, i was careful to use lower case but it is a controversial word. Mea Culpa if I was over the top. btw, I would have appreciated your grandmom.

  13. MA; AFFECT your CREDITABILTY. Stop it man, you’re killing me LOL.

  14. Briggs

    6 September 2010 at 9:21 am

    MA,

    I go away for one day, and just look at how many typos creep into an article! They’re like weeds: if you don’t keep on top of them, they can take over.

  15. 49er,

    Oh, she’s still around. Let’s just say that she’s… a Jewish grandmother.

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