The Public Religion Research Institute team announced yesterday a unique new product in partnership with Religion News Service–the PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll. Each month, in partnership with RSN, PRRI will be conducting a national poll on current news related to the role of religion in public life.
Released today, our inaugural PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll focuses on how Americans view Fox news host Glenn Beck in the wake of his recent rally–marked by a surprisingly religious tone–held on the site and anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech. The poll found only 17% of Americans think Glenn Beck is the right person to lead a religious movement.
The poll also found roughly equal number of Americans holding favorable and unfavorable views of Beck (28% and 27% respectively), but even among those holding a favorable view of Beck, less than half say he is the right person to lead a religious movement.
According to our survey, Glenn Beck may face some significant liabilities with people who resonate with his political views but see real differences between Beck’s religious views and their own. Few Americans (only 17%) correctly identify Beck’s religion– Beck is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church) – and among those, only 37% think he is the right person to lead a religious movement. Overall, 64% of Americans think Mormons have different beliefs from them, and the number goes up to 73% among white evangelical Protestants.
Stay tuned for next month’s PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll, which will focus on another topic pulled from the headlines on religion and public life.
Read the full survey results and questionnaire.
Read the Religion News Service story.