With angel images and stories abounding in pop culture, a new survey finds that more Americans now believe in God and in miracles than they did a decade ago.

Coinciding with the Christmas season, a poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center, released Sunday, reported 71 percent of respondents say they never doubt the existence of God. In a similar poll in 1987, the figure was 60 percent.The poll also found that 61 percent of Americans believe miracles come from the power of God - an increase of 14 percentage points from a decade ago.

And 53 percent said prayer is important to daily life; in 1987, it was 41 percent.

The poll results appear to dovetail with popular culture.

"Touched by an Angel" ranks among TV's highest-rated shows. Books on angels, miracles and spirituality, in general, line bookstore shelves.

But at the same time, radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger asserted Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the United States is in the midst of a morality crisis. Americans "don't seem to have much of a moral framework," she said.

If there is a crisis, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said on the same program, the governing system is playing a role in it by backing away from what until recently were accepted obligations of the well-off to help the less fortunate.

"Our government philosophy is moving away from Judeo-Christian principles," said Cuomo, a liberal Democrat. More and more the government says, "No, you're on your own, buddy," he said. "You know, that's not government's job. You can take care of that privately."

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., agreed and said more government involvement is necessary to increase jobs and take other steps to help strengthen and stabilize the American family.

But Rev. Jerry Falwell, also on the NBC show, countered: "We could put all the money in the world into the hands of the people of this country, and we would just desecrate further the moral morass that plagues us."

Schlessinger, who gives advice on personal relationships, said the clergy bears responsibility, too.

No margin of error was available for the Pew poll, which was conducted in September and October.