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President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference after meeting with Gov. Rick Perry in Dallas about immigration on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Poll: Obama scores best with Muslims, worst with Mormons

Only 18 percent of Latter-day Saints approve of president’s performance.

First Published Jul 11 2014 12:24 pm • Last Updated Jul 21 2014 07:03 pm

President Barack Obama should be grateful Mormons account for barely 2 percent of the U.S. population — otherwise his overall approval rating would be sinking even lower than its current 43 percent.

That’s because only 18 percent of Latter-day Saints give a thumbs up to the commander in chief’s 2014 job performance, according to a new Gallup poll.

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On the other hand, Muslims hand Obama the highest marks, with 72 percent approval, followed by other non-Christians at 59 percent.

More than half of Jewish adherents (55 percent) approve of the president’s performance, followed by Catholics at 44 percent, and Protestants and other Christians at 37 percent.

About 54 percent of atheists and those professing no religion — the latter is a surging segment of the nation’s populace — approve of Obama’s work.

The Democratic president’s abysmal ranking among U.S. Mormons, who are overwhelmingly Republican, is the lowest of any religious group tracked by Gallup. But it’s hardly a new phenomenon. Obama has always struggled to win rank-and-file LDS approval.

"The relative rank order of the religious groups on job approval has been consistent throughout Obama’s presidency," writes Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones. "In fact, the current rank order, with Muslims most approving and Mormons least, exactly matches the order seen over the more than five years he has been in office since January 2009."

But back then, when Obama took the oath as the nation’s first African-American president, he scored a 43 percent approval rating from members of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nearly 60 percent of Mormons nationwide identify themselves as Republicans, compared with 14 percent who say they prefer Democrats, according to a 2011 report from Trinity College in Connecticut.

The latest Gallup poll is based on data from more than 88,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted through June of this year.

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The margins of error for the overall survey and the subgroup rankings range from plus or minus 1 percentage point to 6 percentage points.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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