Mormons strongly dislike President Obama.

That fact is not terribly surprising in itself, but the numbers are eye-popping.

Yesterday the Gallup organization released the results of its latest religion survey, which broke down Obama’s approval and disapproval ratings, religion by religion:

Gallup screen shotAs you can see, Mormons have the lowest approval rating of any other religious group — 18% — and the highest disapproval rating — 78%.

Mormons’ disapproval rating is a full 20 points higher than that of any other religious group, and our 18% approval rating is less than half of the 43% of all Americans who gave the President a thumbs-up in the same time period.

Mormons’ approval is also significantly below the 25% approval rating Obama garnered among Mormons from 2009 through the end of 2013, though our seven-point drop wasn’t all that different than the five, six, and seven-point drops other religious groups registered.

Bottom line: People of many different religions have cooled in their affection for Obama, but Mormons hate him most of all, with more than three-quarters expressing active disapproval.

Now, these results would have skewed slightly differently if Gallup had not strangely decided to toss all Protestants together instead of breaking out separate groups of mainline Protestants and evangelicals. A United Church of Christ member in Massachusetts isn’t likely to share much common political ground with a Southern Baptist in Alabama, but the survey lumps them together anyway.

But even with that “strange bedfellows” issue in the survey, the gap between Mormons’ dislike of President Obama and other Christians’ is stark.

I, for one, an among the eighteen percent. Obama has been far from perfect, but his commitment to universal health care, civil rights, and putting our economy back on track after inheriting one of the worst recessions in history have given him high marks in my book.

20 Comments

  1. I suggest you edit your post to remove the word “hate” – there is a difference between disapproval and hate, after all.

    To the point of the numbers themselves, they seem to track pretty closely to the ideological breakdown of the LDS Church in the US that PEW gave: 10% Liberal, 27% Moderate, 60% Conservative. I’d guess that Obama has at least grudging approval of all of the Liberals and none of the Conservatives, but is losing Moderates.

    • Totally agree on the inappropriate mention of “hate.”

      Nobody was polled on hatred, they were polled on disapproval.

      Perhaps it was an effort to avoid redundancy with the words “disapprove” and “dislike” (and even likability wasn’t exactly measured), but still invalid.

  2. My college degrees are not in political science and therefore this is not at the level it could be at.
    As a 9th generation American, a 1st generation Latter-day Saint, and the possessor of an MBA with real management experience, it feels like President Obama is totalitarian at heart, is trying to limit my agency and is an inept leader/manager (a vote charmer for sure but not a leader).
    He wants to force all of us into his healthcare system. He is instructing or allowing TSA, the IRS and other organizations to strip us of our rights to privacy and equal justice under the law. He does not enforce certain, very important and impactful laws, and places himself above Congress (not as an equal as stated in the constitutionally designed triad) by writing orders when Congress is not acting fast enough for him.
    He shows no respect for free markets and stifles competition and entrepreneurship with tens of thousands of pages of new regulations. And then points to industry for not creating enough jobs.
    I have never heard him take responsibility for anything that has not gone his way. Blame, Blame and more blame.
    He has lied to me (and most of the rest of America) most obviously about healthcare, never admitted it and never apologized for it (obviously that I have heard). The former White House spokesman would be faced with the facts and always reframed it so the Commander-in-Chief did not assume a particle of responsibility. He actually reminded me of the female radio announcer in Iraq during the 23 days of invasion where she kept saying that the Iraqi army was trouncing the invading forces as we were swarming Bagdad. LOL!!
    After 60 plus years we still have troops in South Korea, Japan and Germany – And no new wars there. Well almost in South Korea, but not yet. We did not leave troops in Germany after WWI – look what happened. Same but different in South Vietnam. Why on earth did he pull everybody out of Iraq? Just line them up with WWI Germany and South Vietnam! A regrettable and preventable mistake.
    I will give him credit for effective sanctions against Putin’s Russia to probably stop, or delay as it is not yet over, a full on invasion of the Ukraine by Russia. Israel is ready for that level of support/assistance now and where is this man?
    I think this explains why I am voting with the majority of Latter-day Saints on this one.
    Jana, please keep up your good work. I do enjoy, even if I sometimes disagree.

  3. Interestingly, Jana, though not surprisingly, I oppose Obama for the very reasons you cite in your support:

    I abhor socialized medicine in any form.

    I oppose definitions of civil rights which place certain demographics on a higher plane than religious conscience, which Obama’s policies aim to destroy.

    And Obama’s behavior with regard to the economy reveal his utter incompetence and cluelessness on matters of business.

    He “inherited” the economy in January 2009. When exactly does he become responsible for it?

  4. I find the hatred part of the disapproval especially interesting and disappointing in light of the joint statement from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in November of 2012: “We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States. After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations. We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times.” (http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/statement-on-election-result ) That statement seemed to cause barely a blip on the efforts by many Mormons to demonize Barack Obama and I say few effort by most Mormons to seriously try “to come together.”

    I still approve of President Obama’s policies in a few key areas and feel they are the lesser of available evils in a few more. That said, I disapprove of the President’s policies and actions in more than one or two areas and seriously question them in even more.

    However, Presidents of the U.S. are certainly Not all powerful and do Not have control over much with which they must deal. Amid the incessant drumbeat of criticism, hostile political-spin, and some outright demonization it is hard evaluate what is going on.

  5. Going back to the well on the description of “hate.”

    Jana, I think you have inadvertently fallen into a miscue repeated frequently by those on the left side of the political scale, too casually associating disagreement with hatred. This same tactic is often employed by same-sex marriage advocates to vilify supporters of traditional marriage, painting a narrative of hate-filled religious zealots rather than good people with legitimate (and yes, even religious-based) opposition to such unions.

    No doubt there are some who hate Obama in addition to disliking him.

    No doubt there are some who hate homosexuals in addition to opposing their legal unions.

    But when we suggest that the subgroups are essentially one and the same, we are no longer being intellectually honest at best, and mean-spiritedly manupulative and malicious at worst.

  6. Yet no comment on the fact that Muslims have the highest approval rating by a significant margin? What a ridiculous, one-sided commentary. What does it matter which religions those that approve or disapprove of Obama belong to?

  7. Being so politically one-sided may prove to be a detriment to missionary work. People value their political beliefs highly and investigators who are Obama supporters may well be hesitant to join a church where most conversations in Sunday School or in the hallways are unwelcoming or even hostile to their points of view. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is more important than politics, and there is room in the Church for members of both major political parties (as well as independents and those who just don’t care), but you wouldn’t get that impression from the recent Gallup numbers.

    • There WOULD be more balance if not for the Democrat allegiance to abortion and other policies which are difficult to defend doctrinally. But since the Left has all but run full throttle with an agenda which conflicts heavily with much of church teaching, I don’t see the divide narrowing anytime soon.

      • Democrats don’t have an allegiance to abortion—only to choice. Or in other words…agency. If you read the party platforms, the Democratic platform actually more closely resembles the official Church statement on abortion:

        LDS Position Statement: Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct. The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion…When a child is conceived out of wedlock, the best option is for the mother and father of the child to marry and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship. If a successful marriage is unlikely, they should place the child for adoption.

        Democratic Party Platform: Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy. There is no place for politicians or government to get in the way…We strongly support family planning and adoption incentives. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

        These are not the complete statements of either organization, but the crux of the positions.

        • Sugar coat it any way you want. Democrats are religiously devoted to preserving the right of women to electively slaughter over one million innocent pre-born babies annually. Infanticide as agency is a tough sell to most people striving to follow Christ. Adding to the absurdity, the same party which works so hard to preserve the slaughter of the innocent tirelessly works to preserve the lives of murderers on death row.

          • It takes a special capacity for rationalization to equate the annual elective slaughter of over a million pre-born babies to a “rare” event.

  8. There are pro-life Democrats, and most voters care about more than a single issue. Assuming that you are LDS, your quick dismissal of the Democratic Party is an illustration of the problem I was describing.

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