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Pope's Favorability Among Americans Soars Following His Visit to the United States

Contact: Andrew Walther, Knights of Columbus, 203-824-5412, andrew.walther@kofc.org 

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Oct. 16, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- A new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll finds that Americans reacted very positively to Pope Francis' visit last month.

The survey found that the pope's popularity has soared in the wake of his trip to the United States, and almost three quarters of Americans now say they view him favorably (74 percent) up from a strong 58 percent in August. Among practicing Catholics, he is viewed favorably by 90 percent, up from 83 percent in August.

A majority of Americans (56 percent) also now feel better about their own faith because of his visit, including more than eight in 10 practicing Catholics (86 percent).

Almost six in 10 Americans (58 percent) are more likely to engage in charitable activity as a result of the trip, including more than eight in 10 practicing Catholics (82 percent).

The survey also found that a majority of 55 percent now say that they are clear about his vision for the Church. This includes almost nine in 10 practicing Catholics (88 percent). By contrast, in April, 43 percent of Americans and 73 percent of practicing Catholics said the same.

"The data clearly show that Pope Francis' trip to the United States was a success by any measure," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "Not only is the pope viewed more favorably on the heels of the trip, but Americans also feel he made a real difference in their own lives – motivating them to become more involved in charitable activity, and making them feel better about their own faith. Not surprisingly, this positive reaction is even stronger among practicing Catholics."

This survey of 1,095 adults was conducted October 1st through October 9th, 2015 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers. Landline telephone numbers were randomly selected based upon a list of telephone exchanges from throughout the nation from ASDE Survey Sampler, Inc. The exchanges were selected to ensure that each region was represented in proportion to its population. Respondents in the household were randomly selected by first asking for the youngest male. To increase coverage, this landline sample was supplemented by respondents reached through random dialing of cell phone numbers from Survey Sampling International. The two samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2013 American Community Survey 1-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. Results are statistically significant within +3.0 percentage points. There are 269 completed interviews with Catholic Americans, and 160 completed interviews with Catholic Americans who practice their faith. The results for these subsets are statistically significant within +6.0 percentage points and +7.7 percentage points, respectively. The error margin was not adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.

Additional data from the survey will be released next week.