Tonight, Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the second time. But as he moves into the home stretch of the campaign, he faces a significant challenge: many Americans cannot identify his religious faith. Dr. Robert P. Jones explains Obama’s conundrum in his latest column for “Figuring Faith,” his blog at the Washington Post:
After nearly a full term in office, fewer than half (49 percent) of voters correctly identify Obama as Christian. Around 1-in-5 (17 percent) voters continue to incorrectly say that Obama is a Muslim, up from 12 percent in 2008 (12 percent). Most strikingly, about 3-in-10 (31 percent) voters say they are unsure of his religious beliefs. Other questions confirm this identification problem: only 38 percent of voters report that Obama’sreligious beliefs are similar to their own, despite his membership in the United Church of Christ, one of America’s oldest Christian denominations.
This dearth of knowledge about Obama’s faith could have an impact on his ability to sway the nearly 6-in-10 (58 percent) independent voters who care about presidential candidates’ religious beliefs.
To read the full column, head to “Figuring Faith.”