18 percent of Mormons approve of President Obama?

According to Gallup, 18 percent of Mormons approve of President Obama’s job performance. This is down from 43 percent right after he was elected.

Muslims and Jews both love the president.

Here are some fun charts. First, current approval ratings by religion:


Next, approval ratings by Catholics, Protestants and Mormons over time:


Last, approval ratings by Muslims and Jews over time:


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

26 thoughts on “18 percent of Mormons approve of President Obama?

  1. @MT…
    This is probably a measurement we can use to determine the level of activity at church, as well as the bloggernacle proportion versus believing members.

  2. It has taken 5 years of daily news coverage for the general population to get to where we were in the beginning. Now if only the general consensus will drop like the LDS approval rating did 5 years ago.
    Note that a significant % of democrat and liberal leaning LDS are not liking Pres. Obama. My biggest surprise is that over half of Jewish people still like him. I would expect the average Jewish person to realize how far from peace the middle east is and how poor the economic decisions have been for the long term. Maybe they do, but like other things like his party label.

  3. Palpatine: “I wouldn’t misinterpret this as a conservative mandate if I were you. I suspect a lot of those unhappy with Obama were expecting more free stuff faster.”

  4. I am one of those who do NOT approve of the job that President Obama is and has been doing, however, I am dismayed by this polling information. It will be interpreted by many as further evidence that the church has yet to overcome its racist past. My opposition to the president has nothing whatsoever to do with his race but I will be stereotyped because of my religion buy the people who are so against stereotyping because of race.

  5. Are there historical returns of a similar nature for other instances where a President was elected in lieu of one constituency’s favored child?

    Is there another such President where the “losing” candidate was so uniquely identified with such a defined subset of the general populace?

  6. RE: the “… get them help”, “activity level” and other similar comments:
    I have a current temple recommend, I’m the high priest group leader in my Sandy, Utah Ward, and I attend every week. I voted for Obama both times, and while there are some things I wish he would do differently I still think he is better than the alternates which were offered.

    Just my opinion, which last time I checked was still allowed (in the Church anyway).

  7. MinJae … so are you assuming that a majority of LDS don’t approve because they are racists? Come on! We have got to STOP with that line of thinking. That is the media narrative about Obama, that anyone who opposes him is a racist. I am tired of it. I don’t like what he is doing because it’s bad stuff. I don’t care that he is the first black president. I never thought about race till he and his people came on the scene, for the simple fact that *they* are always screaming about it.

  8. Joyce Anderson: Did you not see where I said “interpreted by many as further evidence”? Where did I say that I assumed that? Did you bother reading my post or was a cursory glance enough to get your fingers flying on the keyboard? I’m disappointed in you, really.

  9. Twenty years ago, a former BYU football player, member of the church, and future General Authority ran for governor of Idaho. He was from Pocatello, and managed to get most the votes in Pocatello. But in the heavily-Mormon areas of Idaho Falls, Rigby, and Rexburg, he did not get a majority of the votes. In fact, in Bonneville County (mostly Idaho Falls) and Jefferson County (Rigby) he received a smaller percentage of votes than he received statewide. Lots of LDS voters in these cities (keep in mind that both Idaho Falls and Rexburg have temples now, despite only being about 30 minutes apart).

    How many commenters here would have voted for Larry Echohawk? (Hint–he was a Democrat).

    Meanwhile, voters in these areas have voted for and elected a closeted gay man who solicits gay sex in airport bathrooms and a member of the LDS church who gets arrested for a DUI. Perhaps LDS voters are like voters in general–lousy judges of a politician’s character.

    The Gallup site states, “Clearly, members of various religions view the president quite differently, but this may be attributable more to whether Obama’s Democratic affiliation matches the political leanings of each religious group, and less to the specific policies and actions he has taken throughout his presidency.”

    Mix in a little bit of what Meg mentioned (Mitt Romney), and some of the rhetoric some of us hear in church (right-wing political talk that frankly makes it harder for some of us to even show up to church–we want to worship and learn about the gospel, not listen to Glenn Beck or hear anti-Democrat tirades) and I’m not really surprised by the numbers.

  10. Tim, or perhaps most politicians (with a few exceptions) are just power-hungry losers. No politics in church is a good idea, but claiming that Mormons are basically dumb right-wing fanatics (which is what you are doing here and what always happens on Bloggernacle boards) is uncharitable and not welcome on this site. Take it to a site where your Mormon-bashing is welcome.

  11. I think the people of Idaho were hoping for the best in voting for by imperfect people who espoused policy positions they agree with.

    Tim’s point actually proves in himself what he finds fault in others. Take two candidates, you don’t really know much about either of their private lives, but you hope for the best in that they try to do the right thing, despite a few screw ups. One candidate you disagree with many of their policy positions, and one candidate you agree with many of their positions. Tim suggests we should vote for the Mormon we disagree with because he is presumably a more faithful Mormon.

    At the same time, Tim chides us for not judging their private lives better. But couldn’t it be true that the Mormon Democrat also behaves immorally? So we should vote for someone who is both immoral and enacts policies we disagree with?

    Not saying the people Tim mentions should be elected if their public behavior is known. But the point he’s making reveals his own bias in judgment than anything else.

  12. To follow up on Aaron’s point, here is how Mike Lee puts it, and I agree:

    “GILLESPIE: What is the essence of your faith? Is it “do unto others…”

    LEE: It’s following Jesus Christ, the redeemer of the world, the Son of God who took upon himself the sins of mankind and made it possible for us to receive forgiveness and to be resurrected after this life. As to the second part of your question, there are many who share my faith, who don’t share my view of government. I’m certainly not willing to assume as a voter that simply because someone else shares my faith that they’re going to get my vote. As a voter what I look for is whether somebody shares my view of government and its proper role. That person may or may not share my faith; that person may or may not have any faith. I’m hiring them not to be my minister. I’m hiring them to represent me in government. I want to know what they think the proper role of government is. If they’re running for federal office I want to know what they think the proper role of the federal government is, how they read the constitution, whether they see this as some kind of open-ended conversation-starter or whether they view it as actually meaningfully restricting the power of the federal government.”


  13. To John Swenson Harvey:

    Your short description of yourself is what we call “appeal to authority” in informal logic circles. Just because you’re the HPG Leader &a TR holder does not mean you are a good judge of people. Otherwise you would know that Obama and ALL of his close associates are Marxists and communists whose philosophies are antithetical to God’s ideas of agency and choice. All that you prove is that you too can make grave errors. I hope you are also the best repenter in your ward.

  14. Mike, if you are wondering about potential reasons why some people support Obama, I can think of three possible ones:

    1) Conceptions – Some people figure that people not like them are out on a conspiracy to form a fundamentalist society. I’ve heard it said about everyone from Mormons to Evangelical Christians, from the mouths ranging from Christians to atheists yet given the pluralistic, diverse membership of government, especially at the federal level, this is not practical to do. It also sounds like the people pushing this conspiracy theory, or anti-sectarian canard, also don’t understand the structure of government as per the Constitution.

    2) Comfort Zone – Some people feel comfortable voting a certain way because that party is their tradition to vote for, or something about the identity of the candidate is something in common for them.

    3) Can’t find the other options much better. Plenty of candidates often have the same problems you can find in the incumbent, it’s simply not that clear-cut in the case. Should I vote for a candidate because he’s not the incumbent or other guy, or should I stick with the incumbent because well, the other option is simply hardly an improvement in terms of competency, class, and maturity.

  15. To the latent observer, I agree that JS Harvey used the appeal to authority fallacy. There’s more to any given argument than what position I hold. However, the whole ideas that you presented aren’t neccessarily true of Obama either. IMHO, the Communist meme is pushed a little too much without enough to really back it up. Do I disagree with the president, sure do, especially with his pattern of arguing with strawmen so much, and blaming other people so much for what goes on, it disappoints me. That and not taking stands where he could, which also applies to plenty of other politicians both within and without his party too.

    Minjae Lee, people choose to think about the church and project the church as they please. Coming from someone who went inactive and came back. It’s worth knowing that for people, even those like myself who were exposed to plenty of negative misrepresentation of the church, it’s still possible to find what’s good about the church. I was glad that there was a church that the authority structure of the New Testament, as well as one that has some great answers about the destiny of those who were never part of of that church in mortality, or even Christianity in general. There’s always going to be people who make a mockery about it, for a miniscule price in comparison to the doctrines which were so dear.

    The famous “No Unhallowed Hand” speech includes “calumny may defame” which calumny means crude, coarse, mockery. Not even the attempts by the world to portray the church as evil will destroy it, it will progress on despite these attempts. The spirit of the Lord can be stronger than the attempts to make it look dangerous or bad.

    But rather than think like a lot of politicians, including Obama do, where you talk about your opponents think, talk about what’s good about your faith, your principles, and so on. What doctrines of the church do you appreciate so much? What doctrines make it so worth being a member, even if people represent you?

    Tim, we are limited in what we know about a political candidates’ personal life. However, when new information comes to light, we can work with it and resolve the issue by voting against the person we may have once supported. We can also appeal on issues, regardless of who is in office. It’s possible under our state of government to change the situation if we voted for someone that turned out to be not so good.

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