Fox News Poll: The pope’s popularity

As Pope Francis visits the United States for the first time, the latest Fox News poll finds that he and the Catholic Church are viewed positively by American voters and Catholics alike.

Sixty-eight percent of Catholics view Pope Francis favorably.  That increases to a 73 percent favorable among Catholics who attend Mass almost every week.

Among all voters, 55 percent have a positive opinion of the pope.


The national poll of 1,013 registered voters was conducted Sunday through Tuesday evening.  The pope arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday afternoon and will give a speech to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday.

Pope Francis is more popular among Catholic women (74 percent) than Catholic men (62 percent).

The pope recently made statements on topics such as climate change and income inequality that have been criticized by conservatives, and that is reflected in their opinion of him.  Just 38 percent of self-described “very” conservative voters have a positive view of Pope Francis.  And only 35 percent of those who are part of the Tea Party movement view him favorably.

Among Democrats, nearly two-thirds have a positive opinion of the pope (65 percent), while just over half of Democrats feel that way about the Catholic Church (52 percent favorable).

About half of all voters (51 percent) and three-quarters of Catholics (75 percent) have a favorable view of the Catholic Church in general.

Eighty-three percent of Catholics who attend Mass frequently view the church favorably.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,013 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from September 20-22, 2015. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, and six points for Catholics.