If given the choice between a politician who was caught cheating on his wife and a politician who’s perfectly moral and reasonable, except for the fact that he’s an atheist, a new poll finds more people would be likelier to support the cheater, because atheism is apparently still that big a stigma, politically speaking. This Pew Research poll finds that of all the qualities they posed to people about hypothetical 2016 candidates, the biggest stigma any candidate would have to tackle is a lack of religious faith.
Pew ran down a list of “presidential traits” and asked whether certain traits would make them more or less likely to support that candidate, or whether it wouldn’t matter either way. And a whopping 53 percent of those polled would be less likely to support an atheist candidate. That’s compared to only 35 percent who would be less likely to support someone who wasn’t faithful to their spouse.
One of the more contentious answers is “Washington experience.” 19 percent would be more likely to back a candidate with D.C. experience, 30 percent would be less likely. 52 percent of people, however, would have a problem with a candidate who has never previously held any elected office.
Some other interesting results: 22 percent would be less likely to vote for someone who publicly admitted to smoking pot, a whopping 43 percent would be more likely to vote for someone who previously served in the military, and, remarkably, 2 percent of those polled were willing to say they would be more likely to vote for someone who cheated on their spouse.
Who are these people?
[image via Shutterstock, The Out Campaign]
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