August 19th, 2010
08:08 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: One-third of Americans say Obama is Christian

 Only about one-third of Americans can correctly identify President Obama’s religion, according to a new poll.
Only about one-third of Americans can correctly identify President Obama’s religion, according to a new poll.

(CNN) - A substantial and growing chunk of the country believes that President Obama, a self-described Christian, is Muslim, while only about a third of Americans are able to correctly identify his religion, according to a survey released Thursday.

Nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year, according to the survey, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.

The number of Americans who express uncertainly about the president's religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown, including among Obama's political base. For instance, fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian.

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Filed under: President Obama • Religion
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. JW Nicholson

    Are there really that many stupid people in this country? Uhh, yeah! As it has been said, "stupid should hurt more."

    August 19, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. barbara

    i do not know what he claims as his religion and i really do not care,..UNLESS it affects me and my family DIRECTLY, let him believe in whatever God he chooses.

    August 19, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. DLB

    Why are we so fixated on his religion??? Why does his religion even matter? There are great people/leaders in this world, regardless of their religion, and there are terrible people/leaders in this world regardless of their religion. Shouldn't we be more concerned about his character? Come on, people!!!

    August 19, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. Stacey

    Most of the people who don't believe he is a Christian are the same people who probably aren't Christians either according the God's real standards, not the ones they make up and then look for Scriptures to justify their own beliefs.

    As a Christian, I'd love to know why this is even relevant. Bush, Cheney, and Reagan claimed to be Christians, as does Palin. Did anyone see a difference in how their kids turned out? Cheney has a gay daughter and an incompetent one, Palin has children who dropped out of high school and one who got knocked up in her own house, Bush had daughters he couldn't control. All of the aforementioned were bloodthirsty and war hungry, but just let them quote a Scripture or two and everyone went gaga.

    I don't care what the man believes, and neither should anyone else. Truth is, no one knows for sure whether anyone is really a true Christian. I expect him to lead this country. Nothing more, nothing less, and that is what everyone else should expect.

    August 19, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. SA in OO

    The larger lesson here is not about the results, but about the underlying fallacy of polls themselves.

    POLL: “Nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim”

    POLL: “Fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian.”

    Though the article does not give the margin of error for these results, it is typically in the range of +/- 4-5% for these kinds of samples.

    But the more relevant statistic here is that 20% of the respondents (1 in 5) are wrong on the first question, and about 50% (fewer than half) are wrong on the second question.

    THE POINT: All of these polls are the opinions of a tragically uninformed public.

    August 19, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Ben in Texas

    More twisted poll results here. I know that the President states that he is a Christian. He could hardly be elected in this country if he said anything else. Heck, even Bush and Cheney claim to be Christians, and they're about as far from real Christianity as Hitler was.

    So, if someone asked me, "What religion is President Obama?", I would have said, "I don't know". That doesn't mean I think he's secretly a Muslim. It just means, "He says he's a Christian, like all the others say they are Christians, but I don't know what he really believes".

    August 19, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Obama becomes whatever serves his purpose, on any given day.

    August 19, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. ja

    i see dysfunction in all, just stand back and reflect

    August 19, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. allyanne

    Who cares what his religion is?? I don't care if he's Muslim, Christian, or worships Xenu who lives on the planet Gargon. Get over and worry about his job performance.

    August 19, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. GL

    The number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.

    Well must independents voters are angry white people that are really Republicans. So go figure. The only reason these independent voters voted for Obama was because the are up set with Republicans. I never did put any faith into independent voters because they are too wishes washes and make stupid decision out of anger. I am glad President Obama know he can not depend on independent voters and continue to go after the young voters. We can not depend on voters that blow with the win like independents do – they really don't have a firm stand on most things and are just too emotional to make great sound decision. These are the same people that gave us Bush twice and now the want to give the keys back to Republicans because things are not moving fast enough them. There are problem some independent voters you can trust, but most of them are just too angry to have good sounding reasoning and this poll just proved my point.

    August 19, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. GL

    Well most independents voters are angry white people that are really Republicans. So go figure. The only reason these independent voters voted for Obama were because they are up set with Republicans. I never did put any faith into independent voters because they are too wishes washes and make stupid decision out of anger. I am glad President Obama know he can not depend on independent voters and continue to go after the young voters. We can not depend on voters that blow with the wind like independent voters do – they really don't have a firm stand on most things and are just too emotional to make great sound decisions. These are the same people that gave us Bush twice and now the want to give the keys back to Republicans because things are not moving fast enough them. There are probably some independent voters you can trust, but most of them are just too angry to have good sounding reasoning and this poll just proved my point.

    August 19, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. lolo

    These people need a life who keep harping on his birth certificate and religion. They keep beating a dead horse. Please grow up and act like adults. Everyone else who is watching this three ring circus from the GOP and Tea partiers know that they are racists and idiots who do not think for themselves.

    August 19, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. WILLARD BULLOCK

    Musilims chistain are keep danger with terroist so what about texas fort hood ???????,?

    August 19, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. DJ

    OMG, and we attack him because he is trying to improve our Education system!!! WOW!! LOL!!! How lost can people in this Country be?

    August 19, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  15. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    Since when do Muslims go to Christian Churches? When do Muslims talk about how Jesus made a difference in their life? It is a shame what people filled with hate can do to another person with lies. All I know is he has done more in his short term than alot of other Presidents and is still trying hard to keep his promises among all the negative talk and all the Republicans have done to keep him from succeeding. This country would be in alot better shape if they cooperated with him more. I am 62 years old and have never seen such hate and division in the wonderful country. I blame the likes of Palin and cry baby beck, Rush and Hannity and all those that fall for their lies.

    August 19, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. Willy Brown

    2/3rd know he's a muslim

    August 19, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. Chipster

    The Republican Party is great at having many people casually repeat false claims until people simply believe something is true. Far too many people remain uninformed or only listen to those who feed their fear and prejudices. For example: Obama never said that he supported building the Mosque in Manhattan. The Mosque is NOT planned to be built at ground zero but is actually several blocks from ground zero. Yet, a majority believe it will be built at ground zero.

    The false information has been repeated, using fear and anger as an effective political tool until a majority of people believe it. Often uninformed people vote against their own interests because of these emotional misconceptions.

    August 19, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. 52 Pick-up

    I don't care what he is–he's just doing a bad job.

    August 19, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. C Smith

    I am assuming the one out of five who believe he is a muslim also coincides with those who lack higher than a high school education?

    August 19, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Pa Santigie

    It does not matter to me. His religion is between him and his God. As long as he is not out there trying to pit one religion against the other, or one group of people against another. All these issues show the ugly underbelly of a country that was once the shinning example of harmony. In its totality, all those questioning his birth, religion and even legitmacy are hiding behing the cover the media has created for them . But when you remove that cover, it boils down to pure and unadulterated racism.

    August 19, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Why in the world does anyone care what religion the President belongs to? He's the president of the United Statesa country with a secular government...

    August 19, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. blue

    President Obama is a christian and he was born in the good ole USA.
    The GOP has nothing to bring our president down so they keep harping on this nonsense.

    August 19, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. greenfish

    Why is this country filled with idiots? Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but PLEASE try to be informed.

    August 19, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. Name David

    So vast numbers of Americans don't realize that the President is Christian???!!! That's no surprise considering the fact that the USA is filled with MORONS from sea to shining sea. What has happened to us? We celebrate ignorance and are predisposed to mistrust intelligence. We have become a nation of reactionaries no longer interested in critical thinking. Or maybe we have always been that way, and our founding fathers were the last enlightened men to run this country.

    August 19, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Wake up America

    This was BEFORE his last gaffe on the mosque at ground zero.

    It's more like 10% (the naive) that think he's a Christian.

    August 19, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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