American Attitudes toward the Pope Following His Visit to the United States

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey of 1,058 adults using AmeriSpeak on their views about the pope’s public stand on global warming.

Large crowds greeted Pope​ Francis on his first visit to the United States in September, but a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research suggests his trip did little to change the attitudes of Americans on climate change.

Despite the extensive media coverage of his trip to Washington, New York, and Philadelphia, most Americans did not follow it closely. Most have neutral views or are not familiar wi​th how Pope Francis has dealt with several of the highly charged issues facing the country these days. However, in most cases, those who did have an opinion tended to be more positive than negative. His overall favorability has remained unchanged from an AP-NORC poll taken in July.

The nationwide poll of 1,058 adults used AmeriSpeak, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Interviews were conducted between October 15 and October 18, 2015, online and using landlines and cell phones.

Three Things You Should Know
From The AP-NORC Center’s Poll on American Attitudes Following the Papal Visit to the United States

Among all American Adults:

Pope Francis’s call to action on climate change had little impact on attitudes toward global warming. Two-thirds agree that global warming is happening and half say it is mostly or entirely caused by human actions, results similar to an AP-NORC poll in July. 

Despite the broad media coverage of Pope Francis’s trip, most Americans paid little or no attention to news about his visit. Overall, 14 percent followed news about the trip extremely or very closely including a third of Catholics.

Pope Francis’s generally favorable ratings have remained steady: 44 percent favorable and 13 percent unfavorable while 42 percent have no opinion of him.​