Saturday, September 29
The inimitable John Allen discusses a recent poll of Americans' perceptions of Benedict XVI:
A solid majority of Americans, 56 percent, describe Benedict XVI as “conservative" and just 5 percent see him as "liberal." Among college graduates, fully 71 percent say the pope is “conservative.” Likewise, 68 percent of American Catholics describe the pope as "conservative."
Nearly three-quarters of Americans, 73 percent, who say they’re familiar enough with Pope Benedict XVI to offer an opinion have a favorable view of the pontiff, according to a new poll. Benedict scored well not just among Catholics, but also white Evangelicals, black Protestants, and mainline Protestants.
While 84 percent of Americans who describe themselves as conservative Republicans have a favorable view of the pope, 59 percent of self-described liberal Democrats also give Benedict XVI high marks. [He has a] 68 percent approval rating among independents to 79 percent approval among conservative and moderate Democrats.
This makes Benedict roughly 3x as popular as the United States Congress, and a rather more than 2x as popular as President Bush.