The poll wasn’t about atheists per se, but rather about public opinion about Mormons. Still it includes us as a group and we’re still in last place on the list. If you’re planning a career in politics you’d best not be an atheist or do everything you can not to discuss your lack of faith.
Though Mormonism is viewed as far less of a liability for a presidential candidate than not believing in God or being a Muslim, more people do express reservations about voting for a Mormon (25%) than about supporting a candidate who is an evangelical Christian (16%), a Jew (11%) or a Catholic (7%).
Furthermore, the group of Americans most likely to say they value religiosity in a president – white evangelical Protestants – is also the group most apt to be bothered by his religion.
More than one-in-three evangelical Republicans (36%) expressed reservations about voting for a Mormon, a level of opposition much higher than that seen among the electorate overall.
These worries are directly linked to how Americans view Romney. The August Pew poll found that Romney’s favorability rating was much lower (54%) among those who say they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon than among those without such reservations (81%).
Overall, a slim majority of the public (53%) expresses a favorable view of Mormons, while 27% view Mormons unfavorably. By this measure, the public views Mormons more favorably than Muslims (43% favorable) and atheists (35%), but more negatively compared with evangelical Christians (60% favorable), Catholics or Jews (76% favorable for each group).
It still bugs me that Muslims politicians stand a better chance of being elected than atheists what with all the violent nonsense their radicals get into. When was the last time a group of radical atheists torched several city blocks and a couple of embassies over a cartoon? “Sure a few of their radicals might suddenly decide to go on a rampage, but at least they still believe in God!”