A recent survey conducted by the Deseret News, commissioned by HarrisX, delved into registered voters' perceptions of the religious faith of certain politicians, yielding intriguing results. Among Republicans, a notable majority, 53%, described former President Donald Trump as a person of faith, positioning him as their top choice in this regard.
This perception placed Trump in a statistical tie with former Vice President Mike Pence, who was also seen as a person of faith by 52% of GOP survey respondents. This perception of faith in Trump and Pence outstripped that of other GOP rivals for the potential 2024 presidential nomination. In contrast, retiring Senator Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon and a vocal Trump critic, was described as a person of faith by only 38% of Republicans.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 29, 2023
Suzanne Bates of Deseret News analyzed the survey results and pointed to Trump's track record in appointing conservative judges and advocating for a pro-life agenda during his presidency as factors contributing to the perception of his faith. While Trump rarely discusses his personal faith, his actions have evidently resonated with Republican voters.
Among other potential candidates, 47% of Republicans considered Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to be a person of faith, while 31% held the same view of Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was perceived as a person of faith by 30% of respondents, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie garnered this perception from 22% of Republicans.
Comparatively, among Democrats, 63% described President Joe Biden, a Catholic whose stance on abortion differs from his church, as a person of faith. It's worth noting that only 23% of Republicans and 33% of independents shared this view of Biden. Conversely, just 14% of Democrats and 19% of independents believed Trump to be a person of faith.
The Deseret News, located in Salt Lake City, is among Utah's oldest newspapers and is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The survey included 1,002 registered voters and was conducted from September 8-11, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.