The NBC/WSJ poll found that Pope Francis, Time’s Person of the Year, gets high favorability ratings overall (57%), but that liberals had higher positive feelings toward the pope than conservatives.
It also found that likely because of the ideological split, Francis’ 57% was lower than Pope John Paul II’s 64% back in 1998.
A look back at the crosstabs from 15 years ago confirms that. The Democratic coalition was essentially the same – with ratings in the 60s for John Paul II. But conservatives back then felt far more positively about John Paul II than about Francis today.
Conservatives view Francis 17 points less positively than John Paul II, the highest of the ideological groups. Republican presidential voters were 10 points less, Republicans seven points less.
Contrast that to liberals and Democratic presidential voters, who view Francis more positively than John Paul II by three and five points, respectively. (See table at right.)
First published December 11 2013, 9:21 AM