Pope Francis' popularity declines in the U.S.
The latest Gallup poll shows a 17 point decline in Pope Francis’ popularity among Americans. In 2014 around 76 percent of the U.S. population had a favorable opinion of the Argentinian pontiff (Time magazine even named him The Person of the Year in 2013). Now, two months ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. only 59 percent of Americans have a favorable image of the pontiff.
The number of people who have an unfavorable image of Pope Francis has increased from 9 percent to 16 percent.
This poll, conducted between July 8 and July 12, shows a decrease in Pope’s popularity among Catholics and political conservatives. Last year 89 percent of American Catholics had a favorable image of the Pope. Now only a 71 say they still support him.
Pope Francis' favorable image has also declined among conservatives (from 72 percent to 45 percent in one year). It seems he is not popular among liberals and moderates either (his popularity has declined 14 points).
However, and despite the unfavorable ratings, Pope Francis’ popularity in the United States is still higher than that of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. It is lower than the popularity of the late Pope John Paul II — in October 2003 86 percent of the Americans had a favorable impression of him.
Pope Francis still has a chance to win back Americans support. Let’s see what happens after his visit here in September.