March 22, 2012

Santorum, Romney Supporters Differ on Role of Religion in Politics

55%

A majority (55%) of people who support Rick Santorum for the GOP presidential nomination say there is too little expression of religious faith and prayer by political leaders; just 24% of Mitt Romney’s backers agree.

A majority (55%) of people who support Rick Santorum for the GOP presidential nomination say there is too little expression of religious faith and prayer by political leaders; just 24% of Mitt Romney’s backers agree.

There is a similar divide between Santorum and Romney supporters on the question of whether churches should keep out of political matters. Nearly six-in-ten (57%) Republican and Republican-leaning voters who favor Romney say churches should keep out of political matters. By contrast, 60% of GOP voters who support Santorum say that churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political questions.

Among the general public, the number of people who say there has been too much religious talk by political leaders stands at an all-time high (38%) since the Pew Research Center began asking the question more than a decade ago. In 2010, more people said there was too little than too much religious expression from politicians (37% vs. 29%). The percentage saying there is too much expression of religious faith by politicians has increased across party lines, but this view remains far more widespread among Democrats than Republicans. Read More