There is a big religious split as white Catholics approve of the President 57 - 33 percent while white Protestants split 44 - 42 percent, the ... poll of 2,041 registered voters nationwide finds. Jews back Obama 76 - 12 percent.
There are a lot of polls that compare white Catholics and white Protestants, but they have differences beyond religion, as white Protestants are more likely to live in Southern rural areas and white Catholics are more likely to live in Northeastern urban areas. I would love to see the numbers for Southern Catholics and Northern Protestants to see whether there still is big difference in religious groups when geography is removed from the equation.
In a similar vein, this CNN story got a lot of play this week:
The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.
A lot of commentators have tried to make sense of these results in a purely religious light (or have said they don't make sense). But, again, I wonder whether the "Southern culture of honor," which arguably includes a greater tolerance of violence and isn't an explicitly religious code, explains the differences. Do white evangelicals in Maine or Michigan feel that torture is justifiable? Do atheists in Georgia and Texas support torture to an even greater degree than their churchgoing neighbors?