Pope Francis’ popularity among American conservatives has plummeted since early 2014, a new Gallup poll finds. The dramatic drop among conservatives mirrors a broader, but-far-less-steep drop in the pope’s popularity among all Americans.
The pope’s favorability rating among conservatives shrunk from 72 percent in February 2014 to 45 percent now, Gallup found in its poll released Wednesday. Moderates and liberals also cooled somewhat with Francis, but a majority in both groups still view him positively. His favorability among moderates decreased from from 79 to 71 percent, and among liberals from 82 to 68 percent.
Overall, Francis has an favorability rating of 59 percent, down from 76 percent the February 2014 survey. “The pontiff’s rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope,” Gallup reported.
Gallup’s telephone survey of 1,009 adults nationwide was conducted July 8-12, 2015. It has a margin of error of four points.
The pope has drawn the ire of some Republicans for releasing a sweeping encyclical decrying climate change, supporting President Obama’s move to revive relations with Cuba and criticizing conservative economic policies. However, while he has softened the Church’s language dealing with some social issues, Pope Francis continued its opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.
Gallup’s poll comes ahead of the pope’s plans in September to address a joint session of Congress for the first time in history.