DALLAS (Reuters) - Religion is not proving to be a clear-cut factor in the 2008 U.S. White House race, taking a back seat to the Iraq war and domestic issues, but most Americans still feel faith is an important attribute in their president, according to a survey released on Thursday.
The Pew Forum survey also found that U.S. presidential candidates need not be seen as very religious to gain wide voter acceptance, noting that the Democratic and Republican front-runners -- Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani -- are viewed as the least religious among the top contenders.
The survey's findings are sure to be scrutinized by both parties as they vie for the vote of the faithful in the United States, where rates of churchgoing and strong religious conviction are far higher than elsewhere in the developed world.
"Religion does constitute a bar that candidates must successfully clear but the poll suggests it is not very high. ... And all the leading candidates seem to be clearing this bar," said Gregory Smith, a research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Read it all. The findings regarding Clinton must trouble her, because even critical biographers tend to acknowledge that she is quite serious about her Methodist faith.