Pope’s favorables dip; now lags behind John Paul

By Dan Cirucci | Dan Cirucci’s Blogspot

Has Pope Francis peaked?

The latest Gallup Poll would suggest that he has — at least in the US, anyway.

Here’s the deal: The Pope hit a high favorable rating of 76% among Americans at the beginning of last year. But it’s been pretty much downhill ever since.

pope john paulNow the Pope’s favorables in this country have dropped nearly 20 points to 58%. And he’s dropped among virtually all segments of the population. Among US Catholics the Pope has slipped 18 points. Among Protestants, he’s down a whopping 21 points. Even among liberals (who’ve always seem to tout him highly) he’s slipped 14%. As for conservatives, the better they’ve gotten to know Francis, the less they seem to like him. With that group, he’s down 27%.

In contrast, Pope John Paul II, who served as the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 27 years, maintained a favorable average of 72% and his favorables never dropped below 60%. In fact, John Paul II reached an impressive high of 86% favorability in late 1998.

The 64% average who have viewed Francis favorably throughout his papacy is below John Paul’s average of 72%.

So, while media reports may suggest that this is the most popular Pope of recent times, that simply isn’t true. In fact, it seems Americans may prefer a Pope like John Paul who takes a more consistent, traditionalist view of things, even if they disagree with him from time to time.

Bottom line: As the Pope prepares for his trip to the US, he has his work cut out for him.

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