June 4, 2007

White Mainline Protestants and Democratic Presidential Candidates

Potential Support High for Clinton
Where do white mainline Protestants stand with regard to the announced and potential Democratic presidential candidates? A June survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press sheds light on this question at this stage of the campaign by measuring name recognition and likelihood of support at the polls. (View a complete discussion of the survey findings and more details on the survey methodology.)

Name Recognition. Among white mainline Protestants, Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters are virtually unanimous in saying they are familiar with Al Gore* and Hillary Clinton, and more than nine-in-ten have heard of John Edwards (95%) and Barack Obama (91%).

Other Democratic candidates and potential candidates are less well-known; among all Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters, 53% report having heard of Joe Biden, 47% of Bill Richardson, 38% of Chris Dodd and 35% of Dennis Kucinich.

Likely Support. White mainline Protestants express more potential support for Clinton than for the other Democratic candidates. Fully 80% say that there is either a “good chance” (41%) or “some chance” (39%) they would vote for her, figures that are comparable to those seen among Democratic registered voters as a whole. Just 16% say there is “no chance” Clinton would get their vote. Fewer mainline Protestants say there is a chance they would vote for Gore (with 67% saying there is a “good chance” or “some chance” they would vote for him), Edwards (63% “good chance” or “some chance”) or Obama (60% “good chance” or “some chance”).

* Not an announced candidate as of June 4, 2007.