Most Americans don't consider it crucial that a political candidate be devoutly religious or share their religious beliefs, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll out
In the survey, just 25 percent of Americans said that it's very or extremely important that a candidate has strong religious beliefs, and only 19 percent said they consider it very or extremely important that a candidate shares their own beliefs. At the same time, 57 percent said they want the influence of religion on government policy to extend beyond traditional culture war issues and into policies addressing poverty.
There is little public support for allowing clergy and religious organizations to endorse political candidates while retaining their tax exempt status. It's favored by only 13 percent and opposed by 53 percent of Americans, rightfully so.