All Demographic Groups Support Free Exercise Protection Act
ATLANTA (March 29, 2016) – A new statewide poll finds that 66 percent of Georgia voters want Gov. Nathan Deal to sign the Free Exercise Protection Act that would protect pastors and churches as they exercise their religious freedom in service to their communities.
The poll, conducted by national pollster Clout Research of Ohio, found vast support for the legislation among all demographic groups in the state and across all of Georgia’s 14 Congressional Districts. Deal has until May 3 to sign the proposal, veto it or do nothing in which it will automatically become law.
Of the 66.2 percent of likely voters who want the governor to sign the bill, according to the poll, 51.8 percent “strongly agree” and 14.4 percent “somewhat agree.” Only 27.3 percent “somewhat” or “strongly disagree” the governor should sign the proposal, according to the poll.
The poll found that 79 percent of likely Republican voters; 62 percent of likely Independent voters; and 59 percent of likely Democrat voters support HB 757. There was majority support in each of Georgia’s 14 Congressional Districts including 81 percent in the 9th Congressional District. There was also support across gender, race and income levels.
“This poll shows the people of Georgia believe the culture has gone too far, and they want protections so the courts or no one else can disrupt the religious community,” said David Baker, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “We believe the governor should respond promptly and sign the bill.”
Clout Research surveyed 811 likely voters March 21, 22 and 24 to insure an accurate reflection of how Georgians feel about the legislation which has generated opposition by some in the business community. It included a significant sample of cell phone-only households, and is balanced by gender, age and geographic distribution. The survey carries a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin error of +-3.44 percentage points.
The poll was sponsored by the American Principles Project, Citizen Impact, and Concerned Women for American, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Fellowship of International Churches, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, Georgia Conservatives in Action, Georgia Right to Life and Ten Commandments Georgia.
“Georgians see nothing unreasonable in this legislation. It allows people to practice their faith as they have for centuries and without fear,” said Mike Griffin, public affairs representative for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “That’s why there is such overwhelming support across the board.”
In addition, Clout Research asked Georgia voters if political correctness has endangered the ability for people to practice their faith. A resounding 80.3 percent agreed with 60.3 percent strongly agreeing to the question: “Do you agree or disagree that a recent move in American political culture toward political correctness, where people are afraid of speaking truth because they may offend someone and may suffer some sort of retribution has gone too far in our culture?”
Tanya Ditty, state director of Concerned Women for America, observed: “It’s astounding that many in the business community, the NFL and the media don’t understand their own customers. Georgians are people of faith and they have had enough of having their faith under siege.”
For more information about the poll contact:
Susan L. Meyers
Oak Grove Communications