By Hemant Mehta
Every few years, Gallup asks Americans a version of this question: “If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be _____, would you vote for that person?”
Just about every time they’ve asked that question, “atheist” has been at the bottom of the list. (Atheists are unelectable! the headlines always say.)
In 2012, there was cause for celebration simply because more than half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t hold atheism against a politician. Then, in 2015, for the first time ever, “atheist” wasn’t the worst trait in a presidential candidate. A “Socialist” performed slightly worse. (Thanks, Bernie Sanders!)
In a poll released today, there’s been no change in the unpopularity of “Socialist” — only 47% of Americans would support that candidate — but “atheist” received another tiny jump. A record 60% of Americans say they would now consider voting for an atheist. It’s still next to last on the list. But it’s clearly becoming less of a stigma.
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