Poll: Republicans see Trump as a ‘person of faith’ ... more so than Mitt Romney, Mike Pence and others
Sen. Mitt Romney tops the list for independents, while more Democrats say President Biden is a man of faith
More than half of Republicans see former President Donald Trump as a person of faith, putting him ahead of more vocally religious figures like his former vice president, Mike Pence, according to a new national poll conducted by HarrisX for the Deseret News.
Registered voters were asked whether they considered a list of political figures people of faith. Trump rose to the top of the list for Republicans, while President Joe Biden topped the list for Democrats. Among independents, Sen. Mitt Romney was most likely to be chosen as a person of faith.
Among Republicans, 53% said Trump was a person of faith, ahead of every other person on the list — although he was statistically tied with Pence, who came in at 52%.
Trump also led several of his other opponents in the Republican presidential primary, with 47% of Republican respondents saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a person of faith, 31% for Sen. Tim Scott, 31% for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 30% for entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and 22% for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Only 23% of Republicans said Biden is a person of faith, while 12% said the same of Vice President Kamala Harris.
The poll was conducted Sept. 8-11, among 1,002 registered voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
At a Faith & Freedom gala in June, Trump said he had championed policies favored by Christian voters, including appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court, who then overturned Roe v. Wade, returning control of abortion laws to state legislatures.
“No president has ever fought for Christians as hard as I have,” he said, adding, “I got it done, and nobody thought it was even a possibility.”
But Trump rarely talks about his personal faith, unlike some of his Republican opponents in the 2024 race for the presidency, chief among them his former running mate, Pence.
Both Pence and Scott have made their Christian faith central to their pitch to voters, especially in Iowa, where many of the caucusgoers are evangelical Christians.
But despite their faith-based appeal to Iowa voters, both men are stalled at 6% in the latest CBS Iowa state poll, compared to 51% for Trump and 21% for DeSantis.
But, the Deseret News/HarrisX poll shows evangelical voters were much more likely to say Pence is a man of faith (65%) than Trump (37%). Catholic voters and nonevangelical Protestants were also more likely to say Pence is a man of faith, showing the perception of Trump as a man of faith was more related to voters’ political identity than their religious identity.
Democrats were most likely to say Biden is a person of faith. He topped the list among registered Democratic voters at 63%.
Biden has been vocal about his Catholic faith. In a piece for the Christian Post in October 2020, Biden wrote:
“My Catholic faith drilled into me a core truth — that every person on earth is equal in rights and dignity, because we are all beloved children of God. We are all created ‘imago Dei’ — beautifully, uniquely, in the image of God, with inherent worth.”
Harris came in second among Democratic voters, with 45% of Democrats saying she is a person of faith. She was raised an an interfaith household, by a Hindu mother and a Christian father, and her husband is Jewish. She identifies as Baptist, according to news reports.
Among independent voters, the political figure most likely to be chosen as a person of faith was Romney, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 42% saying he was a person of faith.
With two-thirds of Americans in the Deseret News/HarrisX poll, or 69%, saying religion is very or somewhat important in their lives, it isn’t surprising that voters want to see their party’s figureheads as people of faith.
The Deseret News/HarrisX poll also showed that many Americans aren’t sure whether or not politicians are people of faith. Half of those polled said they weren’t sure if Ramaswamy, Haley, Scott or Christie were people of faith. Almost that many said the same about Harris.