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Tuesday
Aug022011

Voters Like Candidates with Religious Beliefs but Fuzzy on Their Faith 

George Doyle/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Strong religious beliefs are important in a presidential candidate, according to a majority of Americans.

A new survey by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service finds that 56 percent of voters agree with that opinion, which includes nearly three in four white evangelicals and ethnic minority Christians.

However, there is confusion about the exact faiths of President Obama and Republican White House hopefuls Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmanm.

For instance, just 44 percent of white evangelicals know that Romney is a Mormon. In what could spell trouble for the former Massachusetts governor, eighty percent of evangelicals say that Mormonism differs greatly from their own faith.

As for Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann, who has been gaining steam in recent polls, just over half of white evangelicals don't know her religion, even though she's a Baptist, and a third think that her beliefs differ from her own.

Meanwhile, Americans still remain all over the map about the president's religion. Just a third know for sure that he's Christian while 18 percent still think Obama is a Muslim, despite his claims to the contrary and his attendance at Christian church services in the past. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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