(CN) — A year after assuming office, President Joe Biden’s approval rating among Protestants, Catholics and religiously unaffiliated Americans has fallen, a new poll shows.
The Pew Research Center survey found that across all demographics, white Christians are the least likely to approve of the president and believe in his future success.
In March of last year, Pew found that 44% of Protestants approved of Biden's job as president. Nearly one year later, only 32% still believe he is doing a good job. Twenty-two percent of white evangelical and 40% of white non-evangelical Protestants approved of Biden’s job in 2021, but those numbers have now fallen to 14% and 31%, respectively.
The researchers noted that evangelical Protestants' low support for the Democratic president is consistent with the group's approval and support for former President Donald Trump, a Republican.
Black Protestants' approval of Biden dwindled significantly in the last year, a loss of support among a group that was instrumental in securing his nomination during the 2020 Democratic primary. Last year, 92% of Black Protestants approved of the president, a higher rating than any other group. Now, just 65% approve of the job Biden is doing so far.
Among Catholics, Biden’s approval rating is higher than among Protestants but has also waned similarly. Forty-six percent of white Catholics approved of the president's job last year, but as of January only 35% still agree. Much like Black Protestants, a large majority of Hispanic Catholics (74%) approved of Biden’s work last year. However, over the past year, that support has narrowed to 64%.
Biden is only the second Catholic to be elected to the nation's highest office. The first was John F. Kennedy, who assumed office in 1961.
The president’s approval from people with no religious affiliation – atheists and agnostics, also referred to as “nones” – has similarly diminished in the past year. Starting at 65% in 2021, Biden’s job approval among nones has shrunk to 47%.
The poll shows the president's approval fading among key groups. While white evangelical Protestants are more politically aligned with Republicans, Black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics and nones have historically been more supportive of Democratic candidates.
Across all groups surveyed, 20% think Biden will be a successful president in the long run, with 43% believing the opposite and 37% saying it is too early to tell.
In holding with their low approval for the president, most white evangelical Protestants (78%) believe Biden will be an unsuccessful president. A majority (54%) of their non-evangelical counterparts agree. White Catholics aligned closely with white non-evangelical Protestants, with 52% saying they believe the president will be unsuccessful going forward.
About a third of Black Protestants (35%), Hispanic Catholics (32%) and atheists (32%) said they believe Biden will be a successful president, the highest level of confidence on that question. Many more of them – 49% of Black Protestants, 48% of Hispanic Catholics and 38% of atheists – said it is too early
Over 5,000 U.S. adults participated in the survey last month. It did include respondents who identified as Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and others, but there were not enough to be included in the reported data.
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