WASHINGTON (RNS) Six out of every 10 Protestant pastors say they disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, a LifeWay Research survey found.
Researchers said of the 61 percent who disapprove of Obama’s work, 47 percent disapprove strongly.
The survey, released Thursday (Oct. 21), found that 30 percent of pastors approve of the president’s performance (including 14 percent who strongly approve). Nine percent were undecided.
When the Southern Baptist-affiliated research group surveyed Protestant pastors about their voting intentions just before the 2008 elections, 20 percent indicated they planned to vote for Obama, compared to 55 percent who planned to vote for GOP candidate John McCain.
“If voting intentions and job approval measure similar things, the president hasn’t made many friends in the pulpits of America’s churches throughout the first year-and-a-half of his presidency,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.
The new research was based on interviews with 1,000 Protestant clergy Oct. 7-14 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Researchers also found that 84 percent of Protestant pastors disagreed with the idea of pastors endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.