NEW YORK – Pope Francis' rock-star popularity appears to be dimming in the United States.
In a Gallup survey released Wednesday, 59 percent of Americans said they thought favorably of the pope, compared to 76 percent last year.
The most dramatic decline was among political conservatives. Only 45 percent gave the pope high marks, a drop of 27 percentage points. Among Catholics, Francis' approval rating dropped by 18 percentage points to 71 percent. However, liberals also seemed to sour on the pope. Sixty-eight percent viewed him favorably, a drop of 14 percentage points since last year.
The survey of just over 1,000 adults was conducted July 8-12. That's three weeks after the pope's bombshell teaching document that said climate change was largely man-made and that unfettered capitalism exploited the poor.