The candidates participating in the 2016 presidential election have range of religious beliefs, and the public’s view on the candidates’ religions varies greatly. Among the current presidential candidates, Ted Cruz is seen as the most religious among voters, then Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump, respectively, according to a Pew Research poll.

Even as the country becomes less religious overall, not being religiously affiliated is still one of the largest deterrents a candidate could have, so it is not surprising all of the candidates promote their religious beliefs.


% of adults who view each candidate as ____ religious.                     

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Pew Research Center


According to a Pew Research poll, 51% of adults say they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who does not believe in God. While more than half of voters are less likely to vote for a candidate who does not believe in God, only 41 percent say they would be less likely to support someone who was Muslim, 37 percent say they would be less likely to support someone who had an extramarital affair, and 26 percent say they would be less likely to vote for a gay or lesbian presidential candidate.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.30.43 AMLast year Trump, a Presbyterian, revealed the Bible was his favorite book, and his second favorite was his own, “The Art of the Deal.” However, the Pope still questioned his Christianity because his policy to build a wall on the border.

Only 6 percent of voters would be more likely to vote for someone who does not believe in God, which can explain Trump’s pushback against the Pope’s comments.

Despite still being seen as the least religious candidate, he is still the most favored among Republicans. Fifty-six percent of the Republican voters think Trump would make a great president, of that, 17 percent think he is not too religious/not religious at all. This is in stark contrast with Cruz.; of the 53 percent of Republican voters who think he would be a great president, only 1 percent see him as being not too religious/not religious at all, and 24 percent see him as very religious, according to the Pew poll.

Among the voters that religion matters the most, on average they vote for Cruz over Trump. Trump has done better among voters who have no religious motivation.

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Even though Trump has done better with voters with no religious motivation, he still doesn’t have a very positive view from religiously unaffiliated voters. He is by far the most disliked candidate among religiously unaffiliated voters with 73 percent responding he would be a poor/terrible president.

In 2012, 70 percent of religiously unaffiliated voters voted Democrat. If he receives the nomination it could further alienate those swing voters.

In 19 different states, they are the single largest “religious group,” and they make up more than one-quarter of the residents in four swing states: Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire and Michigan.


% of religiously unaffiliated voters saying each would make a _____ president

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Out of the Democratic candidates, Sanders, who is Jewish, is seen the most favorably among religiously unaffiliated voters. According to the Pew Poll, 51 percent of religiously unaffiliated voters feel Sanders would be a good or great president, and 42 percent think Clinton, a Methodist, would be. However, only 14 percent think Trump would be a good or great president, and think only a little better of Cruz at 15 percent.

Trump has also fell short is with very religious voters, which contributed to his big loss in the Utah caucus last month among Mormon voters. Cruz, a Southern Baptist, received 69 percent of the vote, Kaisich received 17 percent, and Trump 14 percent. His vulgarity, religious persecution, and feud with Mitt Romney are some of the contributors to the state’s dislike of him.

According to a Deseret News/KSL poll, if Trump received the nomination, he would lose Utah to a Democrat, which would be the first time in 50 years for the state.

“I believe Donald Trump could lose Utah. If you lose Utah as a Republican, there is no hope,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a top campaign adviser to the GOP’s 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney.