It seems like barely yesterday that Obama was elected, but everyone’s already getting juiced up about the 2012 elections. Reader Sigmund called my attention to this new Pew survey of what voters are looking for in a political candidate. (Note: if you download the pdf file, you’ll see that the date on the front page—June 2, 2010—is off by a year.) The good news is that Obama is way ahead of any possible Republican candidate, and that no Republican candidate stirs much enthusiasm, even among Republican voters:
That, of course, will change as 2012 approaches.
The bad news is that, among traits that candidates could have, one of them is absolute political poison. You know which one it is:
“Not believing in God” is the worst trait of all, much worse than having had an extramarital affair. The Pew report finds that this figure is “little changed from four years ago.” America remains a nation deeply disapproving of atheists. (I wonder what the figures would be in Europe.) The unchanged level of disapprobation is a bit disconcerting, but at least gives the lie to accommodationist claims that vociferous atheism is turning people off. And we know that lack of religious belief is still increasing everywhere in America.
I wonder what the figures would have been if “Approves of Hitler” were a category!