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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