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11 Jul, 2014 17:09

Last bastion of support: Obama most popular among Muslim-Americans

Last bastion of support: Obama most popular among Muslim-Americans

New polling figures give United States President Barack Obama only a 43 percent job approval rating among all Americans, but the commander-in-chief is statistically way more celebrated by Muslims.

According to new data from Gallup, 72 percent of Muslim-Americans queried by the pollsters say they approve of Pres. Obama’s job in the White House recently, with only 20 percent saying the opposite.

Results of the poll, published on Friday this week, reveal that Muslims approve of the Christian president’s job more than any other religion group in America right now.

Gallup’s data suggests that only 59 percent of “Other, non-Christian” people polled approve of the president’s job performance during the first half of 2014, with merely 55 percent of Jews, 54 percent of atheists, 44 percent of Catholics and 37 percent of “Other Christians” saying the same.

Followers of the Mormon religion are least impressed by the president as of late, according to the data, with only 18 percent of those polls saying they approve of Mr. Obama’s performance during the first six months of the year; 78 percent disapproved.

The order in which different religious groups favor the president isn’t anything new — Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones acknowledges that “the relative rank order of the religious groups on job approval has been consistent throughout Obama's presidency.”

“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,” Hones wrote this week.

More than a half-decade into Obama’s presidency, however, the data does for sure show a sharp religious division among political preference. Taking into account around 88,000 interviews collected by Gallup during the first six months of the year, only 43 percent say they approve of the president’s job.

“As Obama's overall job approval rating has had its ups and downs over the five-plus years he has been president, his ratings among religious groups have moved in tandem. That is, Americans of various faiths seem to react similarly to the factors that cause the president's popularity to wax and wane, rather than reacting in idiosyncratic ways tied to their religious beliefs,” Jones added. “Clearly, members of various religions view the president quite differently, but this may be attributable more to whether Obama's Democratic affiliation matches the political leanings of each religious group, and less to the specific policies and actions he has taken throughout his presidency.”

There’s no telling, however, if numbers will change drastically the next time around. Gallup’s latest polling relies on data taken through June 2014, whereas the opinion of Pres. Obama among many Muslim-Americans may have changed in the weeks since. Earlier this month in July, journalists at The Intercept published a report based off of leaked National Security Agency documents revealing that the Obama administration has spied on no fewer than five prominent Muslim-Americans using the capabilities of the NSA’s vast surveillance apparatus. In the wake of that article, dozens of religious groups and human rights organizations have written the White House to express their disapproval.