Poll: Most Americans Say They're Christian

Lower-income Christians also are more apt to be evangelicals. Among those with household incomes under $35,000, 45 percent are evangelicals; among those with higher incomes this declines to 31 percent.

Income, Education

More broadly, Protestants tend to have lower incomes than Catholics: Forty-nine percent of evangelical Protestants have incomes under $50,000, as do 43 percent of non-evangelical Protestants, compared to 36 percent of Catholics.

Income correlates with education. Thirty-six percent of Catholics are college graduates; that declines to 23 percent of Protestants, and 17 percent of Baptists.


There's an enormous political difference between evangelical and non-evangelical Protestants on some issues. One is abortion: Sixty-two percent of evangelical Protestants say it should be illegal in all or most cases; by contrast, 65 percent of non-evangelical Protestants say abortion should be legal (as do 55 percent of Catholics). (See 7/2 analysis on abortion and 6/26 analysis on stem-cell research.)

The difference narrows in terms of ideology more broadly. Forty-four percent of white evangelical Protestants say they're conservative on most political matters; that compares to 33 percent of white non-evangelical Protestants and white Catholics alike. Blacks are different in this regard; just 24 percent of blacks say they're conservative politically. And among people who have no religion, only 19 percent are conservatives.

There's even less difference between evangelical and non-evangelical white Protestants in political party identification: Forty percent of white evangelical Protestants identify themselves as Republicans, as do 34 percent of white non-evangelical Protestants. By contrast only 5 percent of blacks, and 11 percent of non-Christians, are Republicans.


This ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll was conducted by telephone June 20-24, among a random national sample of 1,022 adults. Beliefnet is a Web site dedicated to providing information on religion and spirituality. It is not affiliated with any religious group or movement. The results have a three-point error margin. Field work was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

Previous ABCNEWS polls can be found in our Poll Vault..

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