GALLUP POLL GIVES METHODISTS HIGHEST POSITIVE RATINGS

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April 27, 2008

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Gallup Poll Gives Methodists Highest Positive Ratings

Methodists have the highest positive ratings of religious and spiritual groups in the United States, new research by the Gallup Panel shows.

Ninety-six percent of the 1,005 persons interviewed during the March poll had either a positive or neutral view of Methodists. Four percent had an overall negative view of Methodists.The survey used the broader category of Methodists rather than United Methodists specifically.

Methodists are one of the four U.S. religious groups with strongly positive ratings. The others are Jews, Roman Catholics and Baptists. Broader groups of "evangelical Christians" and "fundamentalist Christians" did not fare as well, but still rated more positively than negatively, according to an analysis of the survey.

Methodists received the highest marks in the total positive and net positive categories of the survey of "Americans' Views of U.S. Religious and Spiritual Groups." The 45 percent net positive rating is the result of subtracting the 4 percent negative rating from the 49 percent total positive rating. Forty seven percent of the respondents gave Methodists a "neutral" rating.

As a matter of comparison, Jews had a 42 percent positive rating, Baptists 35 percent, and Catholics 35 percent.

The random, demographically weighted poll was conducted March 24-27, 2008. Gallup says it has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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