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Most American pastors not backing presidential candidates, survey shows

November 02, 2012

Most regular churchgoers in the US have not heard explicit political advice from their pastors, a new survey from the Pew Research Center shows.

A bare majority of regular churchgoers (52%) reported that they had been encouraged to vote in the November elections. But only 19% said that their pastors had indicated a preference for a particular presidential candidate.

The glaring exception to that rule, the Pew survey shows, comes among Black Protestant churches. In those churches, survey respondents said, 79% of the pastors had emphasized the importance of voting, and 40% had backed a particular candidate. Among those who had backed a presidential candidate, all of the Pew respondents said that the pastor had given the nod to President Obama.

In white Evangelical churches, 54% of pastors had urged their people to vote; of those who backed a candidate, 5% of the pastors chose Obama and 26% opted for Mitt Romney. In Catholic churches the figures were similar, with 46% of priests encouraging their parishioners to vote, 4% backing Obama, and 21% recommending a vote for Romney.


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  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Nov. 05, 2012 10:32 AM ET USA

    New York City. Sunday Nov. 4. Not a word from our Cardinal, our pastor, our priests. The silence is sinful. Whatever happens on Tuesday, this Catholic will have to turn entirely to our God for guidance. Let His will be done.