November 3, 2008

Trends in Candidate Preferences Among Religious Groups

The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press includes analysis of the candidate preferences of major religious groups. These charts are based on results among registered voters interviewed in People-Press surveys conducted on the dates indicated. For a Nov. 2 analysis of the candidate preferences of likely voters, see the People-Press report.

About the surveys


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About the surveys

The information in the “Trends in Candidate Preferences Among Religious Groups” charts come from telephone surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press on the dates indicated.  All results are based on registered voters.  The Center’s latest report on the state of the campaign can be found here.

For the June 18-29, July 23-27 and July 31-August 10 surveys, the figures above reflect responses to the following questions:

Now, suppose the 2008 presidential election was being held TODAY. If you had to choose between [READ AND ROTATE] who would you vote for?

1          John McCain, the Republican
2          Barack Obama, the Democrat [OR]
3          Other candidate (VOL. DO NOT READ)
9          Don’t know/Refused (VOL. DO NOT READ)

IF OTHER OR DON’T KNOW, ASK:

As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to [READ, ROTATE IN SAME ORDER]?

1          McCain, the Republican
2          Obama, the Democrat
3          Other candidate (VOL. DO NOT READ)
9          Don’t know/Refused (VOL. DO NOT READ)

For the September 9-14, September 27-29, October 9-12 and October 16-19 surveys, question wording was changed as follows to reflect the selection of vice presidential candidates:

If the presidential election were being held TODAY, would you vote [READ AND ROTATE]?

1          for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin
[OR]
2          for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden
3          Other candidate (VOL. DO NOT READ)
9          Don’t know/Refused (VOL. DO NOT READ)

IF OTHER OR DON’T KNOW, ASK:

As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to [READ, ROTATE IN SAME ORDER]?

1          McCain and Palin, the Republicans
2          Obama and Biden, the Democrats
3          Other candidate (VOL. DO NOT READ)
9          Don’t know/Refused (VOL. DO NOT READ)

Beginning with the October 23-26 survey, question wording was changed as follows to reflect candidates appearing on the ballot in various states:

IN STATES WHERE BARR AND NADER ARE NOT ON THE BALLOT, ASK:

If the presidential election were being held TODAY, would you vote [READ AND ROTATE]? [INTERVIEWER INSTRUCTION:Do not need to read entire list if respondent indicates a clear preference for one of the candidates]

1          for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin
[OR]
2          for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

IF OTHER OR DK, ASK:

As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to [READ, ROTATE IN SAME ORDER]?

1          McCain and Palin, the Republicans [OR]
2          Obama and Biden, the Democrats
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

IN STATES WHERE BARR AND NADER ARE ON THE BALLOT, ASK:

If the presidential election were being held TODAY, would you vote [READ AND ROTATE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC TICKETS FIRST AND ROTATE BARR AND NADER TICKETS LAST]? [INTERVIEWER INSTRUCTION:Do not need to read entire list if respondent indicates a clear preference for one of the candidates]

1          for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin
2          for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden
3          for the Libertarian ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root
[OR]
4          for the Independent ticket of Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

IF OTHER OR DK, ASK:

As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to [READ, ROTATE IN SAME ORDER]?

1          McCain and Palin, the Republicans
2          Obama and Biden, the Democrats
3          Barr and Root, the Libertarians           [or more to]
4          Nader and Gonzalez, as independents
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

IN STATES WHERE BARR BUT NOT NADER IS ON THE BALLOT, ASK:

If the presidential election were being held TODAY, would you vote [READ AND ROTATE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC TICKETS FIRST WITH BARR TICKET LAST]? [INTERVIEWER INSTRUCTION:Do not need to read entire list if respondent indicates a clear preference for one of the candidates]

1          for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin
2          for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden
3          for the Libertarian ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root
[OR]
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

IF OTHER OR DK, ASK:

As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to [READ, ROTATE IN SAME ORDER ]?

1          McCain and Palin, the Republicans
2          Obama and Biden, the Democrats [or more to]
3          Barr and Root, the Libertarians
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

 

IN STATES WHERE NADER BUT NOT BARR IS ON THE BALLOT, ASK:

If the presidential election were being held TODAY, would you vote [READ AND ROTATE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC TICKETS FIRST WITH NADER TICKET LAST]? [INTERVIEWER INSTRUCTION:Do not need to read entire list if respondent indicates a clear preference for one of the candidates]

1          for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin
2          for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden [OR]
4          for the Independent ticket of Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

IF OTHER OR DK, ASK:

As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to [READ, ROTATE IN SAME ORDER]?

1          McCain and Palin, the Republicans
2          Obama and Biden, the Democrats [or more to]
4          Nader and Gonzalez, as independents
5          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Other candidate
9          [VOL. DO NOT READ] Don’t know/Refused

The table below provides details on the number of interviews conducted among each religious group reported on here.  The “Sampling Error by Size of Group” table provides a sense of the magnitude of the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for groups of varying size.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

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Links to surveys:
June 18-29
July 23-27
July 31-Aug. 10
Sept. 9-14
Sept. 27-29
Oct. 9-12
Oct. 16-19
Oct. 23-26
Oct. 29-Nov.1