As President Donald Trump ascended to the White House on a campaign supported by people with anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic views, the American population overall has an increasingly positive views towards Muslims and Jews.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans have warmer feelings towards nearly all religious groups than they did three years ago. In June 2014, U.S. adults rated Muslims a 40 on a 0-100 “feeling thermometer.” In January this year, Muslims were rated 48. In 2014 Jews rated 63 and now rate 67, which is the highest rating of any religious group.
All religious groups measured are now thought of as neutral or warmly, based on Pew’s feeling thermometer. Although Muslims remain the lowest-ranked group, they moved from “cool” to neutral. Better feelings overall towards religious groups was consistent across political party affiliation, gender and age.
But some age differences remain: Young adults see Muslims much more positively than people aged 30 and over. Those aged 18-29 rank Muslims a 58 on the thermometer, while the ranking diminishes successively for the older participants are.
Jews are thought of most positively of any religious group of those aged 30-49 and those aged 50-64. The youngest Americans rank Buddhists the highest at 66, while the oldest Americans rank mainline protestants the highest, at 75.
There are also differences between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans view evangelical Christians the warmest, at 71, and view Muslims the coolest, at 39. Democrats view Jews the warmest, at 66, and Mormons the coolest, at 52. Republicans also rank more religious groups warmer than Democrats, with evangelical Christians, Catholics, Jews and Mainline Protestants all ranked higher than the warmest rating given by Democrats, Jews at 66.
Trump has caused concern among Muslims for talk of a “Muslim ban” and for signing and executive order that restricts legal immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. That order is currently suspended and is being reviewed by the courts. Jews have also been rattled by Trump’s placement of Stephen Bannon in the White House as a presidential adviser, and the administration’s statement on Holocaust Memorial Day that failed to mention Jews at all.
Evangelical Christians heavily supported Trump in the election, with 81 percent casting votes for the Republican.
Each religion is most likely to view their own group most positively.
The study was conducted between Jan. 9 and 23 and surveyed 4,248 adults contacted on landlines and cellphones via autodial.