Bob Schwartz

Tag: Pew Research Center

Pay Attention to Religion in America: Even If You Don’t Drive You Can Get Hit By a Car

Pew Research Center

The final report of the Pew Research Center 2014 Religious Landscape Study has just been released: “This report focuses on Americans’ religious beliefs and practices and assesses how they have changed in recent years.” (For those who don’t like to read, here’s a topline video.)

No matter your own religious inclinations, investigate. This is the best overview of religion in America, a survey of more than 35,000 U.S. adults.

Why should you care?

Let’s say you don’t have much to do with cars. You don’t own one. Maybe you even live in a city where you don’t need one, and in fact it is trouble to have one. You think that cars are a problem, not a solution. Anything having to do with cars is totally outside your area of interest.

Except that everywhere you go, the phenomena of cars surround you as part of your world. Streets, traffic, traffic lights, energy, etc. You can’t escape it. Why? Because hundreds of millions of Americans own and use hundreds of millions of cars that occupy a huge piece of our economic, social, psychic, cultural, legal space.

You don’t have to believe in cars, but you should not ignore or dismiss them or the people who own and use them. You don’t have to be an expert on cars, but it might be helpful to have some basic understanding and interest.

Because whether or not you believe in cars, if the traffic light is broken when you cross the street, you will believe in the car that hits you.

Building the Perfect 2016 Candidate


A new report from the Pew Research Center doesn’t exactly tell us how to choose or build the most successful Presidential candidate for 2016. But the survey asking adults for their views of various Presidential traits offers some guidelines on who might be the best choices.

Views of Presidential Traits

Military service increases the likelihood of support more than any other factor. Being an atheist or never having held office before? Not so good. In between, take your pick. Being in your 70s is viewed as positive by just 6%, as negative by 36%. In fact, aside from atheism or inexperience, age is most likely to lose support. Interestingly, in 2008 when John McCain was running, Democrats overwhelmingly viewed age as a negative trait. They still don’t completely like candidates in their 70s, with 44% less likely to support, but something about the current possibilities seems to have softened that position (a favorite candidate who will be approaching 70, perhaps?).

If you look at the biggest differential between more and less likely to support, it appears that this is what Americans might be looking for:

Military veteran
Held office, but not Washington experience
Not in their 70s
Not gay or lesbian
No extramarital affair
Believes in God

How does your current favorite, if you’ve got one, fit that profile?