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. Sue

    So who said the President has to be Christian.......the way the so called Christians are acting in this country I personally don't want to be associated with any ot them......I believe is God and have my faith but I don't want to belong to the Christian religions that think, act and talk like hypocrits.....the Christians today are displaying more hate than I have ever seen........I believe Obama to be Christian, he just isn't one of those Christians that go around proclaiming their Christanity.......to a lot of people their Faith in God is a private affair.......remember Jesus was very angry with the Pharisses for going around preaching on the streets acting all High and Mighty he called them HYPOCRITS......because they didn't live their lives the way they were preaching......Like Republicans "Do as I say not as I Do"

    August 19, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Vic of New York

    It's shocking just how many chumps there are in this country.

    On the other hand, they managed to get the "Chump in Chief", George Bush Jr., elected to office....

    I guess it's true what the scientists say: that Conservatism isn't so much a "ideology" as a genetic defect that affects almost 1 in 2.

    Yikes!

    August 19, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Lisa P

    The number of Americans who express uncertainly about the president's religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown...
    This is the real story here, and it's good news for our secular democracy: the President's religion really shouldn't matter and for more and more Americans it doesn't. It's nothing more than trivia, as easily forgotten as last year's American Idol winner. The President's actions and policies are what count.

    August 19, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Because if Fox news says it enough times, it becomes true. Let's face it, folks, the "real Americans" are not too bright. Have a nice day!

    August 19, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. sonny chapman

    The ability of Americans to address the real problems we face is diminishing rapidly.

    August 19, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Jobe

    I do not think like most probably that if he is Christian he is practicing. It is not for me or anything else to judge or know his heart but he should commit himself to whatever God he chooses to serve. Although personally frustrated by the President, I pray that he is blessed, protected and serves our country to the best of his ability.

    August 19, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. all-are-equal

    I don't care what his religion is, and neither should you.

    August 19, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. DR.GEORGE JAMES

    Muslims all over donot consider Obama a muslim!!!

    August 19, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. JES

    Just lay it out there that means two thirds don't. Put another way the majoritey of the people.

    Obama your 15 minutes are way up.

    August 19, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Paul

    What a hypocrite this author is...the body of the news piece highlights the growing suspician that Obama is Muslim yet the headline reads: Poll: One-third of Americans say Obama is Christian as if to infer a trend has developed for the opposite.

    Why don't you stop the charade as an impartial reporters and have the courage to admit you are biased towards this President the liberal agenda at large. This piece is an example of that.

    August 19, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. aunt Bea and Opie

    Im waiting to see where the real Christians are,not the pseudo-christians that now call the rightwing nutcase party their home.

    August 19, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. AJ

    Is there a poll question asking how many don't care? Or how about a poll question asking whether we think it's any of our buiness? The press and the religious right are the ones that care most. The average Joe couldn't care less. What we care about are issues that affect us, not what brand of mumbo jumbo the president choses to believe. One would think CNN would have something more important to report.

    August 19, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. David

    Who cares?

    August 19, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. America Shrugged

    Is there now a religious litmus test to be a US President? I mean, who really gives a rats patooty about what religion someone is now a days? I do not believe Obama is a muslim, but if he were, who really cares? Why is this news, and who are the people these pollsters are polling? Seems to me they are the same group getting polled over and over. I've been a voter since 1980 and have never ever been polled on anything. How about a nice story on Obama signing the Manufacturing bill last week? The bill will give tax incentives for manufacturers who create good jobs here. Although I can't stand Sarah Palin, I am in agreement with her on the validity of the LSM. Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him? I'm sick of the news, sick of the bloggers and sick of CNN. Never in my life have I seen our media rush to put out such tabloid news day in and day out. Are we Americans stupid or something, or so brainwashed we accept this garbage day in and day out?

    August 19, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Keith in Austin

    Why is this a major discovery???

    Actions speak so much louder than words! Last weekend at a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan, Obama publically voices his support of erecting the Mosque at the WTC site. However, since taking office he has NOT attended a single Prayer Service at any time within a Christian Church of any denomination. Nuff said!

    August 19, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. hypocricnnation

    Which Demonstrates That Not Only Is Perception Not Only Reality, But Ignorance And Intolerance As Well. Those Sad Individuals Who Fail To Accept The Truth For What It Is Truly Not Only Didn't Vote For President Obama As President, But Would Gleefully Support And Cheer If He Wasn't Somehow Successful.

    August 19, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Shucks

    Who cares. Noone has ever criticized any president for his religion, place of birth, or the many other myriad of ridiculous accusations leveled against this president. I wonder if it could be that they are still upset that he is BLACK?

    August 19, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Russ

    Just shows how ignorant Americans are, especially Republicans. Seems to me it shouldn't matter anyway. This is a free country, at least until the Republicans regain power. Anyone ever hear of Seperation of Church and State? Keep your god damn religion out of my government!!!

    August 19, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Being a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist doesn't get a candidate my vote just as being a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist doesn't loose a candidate my vote. A candidate's religeon is totally irrelevant to their potential job performance.

    August 19, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Sally

    How come no one doubted Bush's Christianity even after he started two wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people, while Obama has ended combat in Iraq today? Who is more Christian? Actions speak louder than words, folks, and there is not one Republican preaching peace and tolerance. Not one.

    August 19, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. BHScenes99

    To those individuals who cannot or not trying to hide their bigotry, this is more proof, you cannot deal with the right wing on any level beyond a sound bite. They are the same people who were up in arms about Obama attending a Christian church headed by what they considered a radical Christian leader. So either he was not a member of that Christian church which makes those arguments wrong, or he was a member of that Christian church and they were correct at that time about his membership and just wrong now. Bumbling conservatives, which is it.?

    August 19, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Eunice in Memphis, Tennessee

    CNN I am so disappointed with your News coverage lately. Please report the News and do not create the News.

    August 19, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Pangloss

    Since there is, thank God, separation of church and state in this country (Yes GOP extremists, it is, inconveniently for you, in the Consititutution) what does it matter what religion the President claims to follow? What your poll is really saying is that two-thirds of Americans polled are fact impaired by watching cable fantasy/entertainmen "news" sources.

    August 19, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Reality Bites

    I believe the correct way to begin this article would have been...

    "A substantial and growing chunk of the country...are completely brain-dead."

    Yes, that definitely sounds more appropriate.

    August 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. jc

    And this matters why?

    August 19, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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