Last week, the Pew Research Center released the results of a poll surveying how Americans view various traits in potential presidential candidates.
According to the the Pew survey, atheism is the very worst characteristic a presidential candidate can have. Over 50 percent of the survey respondents told surveyors they would be less likely to vote for some godless heathen.
Americans would, in fact, prefer a candidate who hasn’t even held the office of dogcatcher over a candidate who lacks religion — though just barely. While 52 percent of the survey respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who has never held office, 53 percent said they would be less likely to vote for an atheist.
Candidates who have aged into their 70s can expect to face considerable opposition among voters. The survey found that 36 percent of respondents would be less likely to vote for a septuagenarian running for president.
For the record, presumed Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton – who “required six months of very serious work to get over” a “terrible concussion” in December 2012, according to her husband, Bill Clinton – will be 69 years old in November 2016. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton took 6 months to get over ‘terrible concussion’ but she’s totally fine, Bill Clinton swears)
Speaking of Bill Clinton, 36 percent of the participants in the Pew survey indicated that they would be less inclined to vote for a presidential candidate who has engaged in one or more extramarital affairs.
Meanwhile, 27 percent of the respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a gay or lesbian candidate and 22 percent said they would be less likely to vote for an admitted marijuana user.
In what may bode as an ominous electoral mood for establishment candidates, 30 percent of the survey participants said they would be bothered by “Washington experience.”
Voters split pretty evenly on an Evangelical Christian candidate. While 17 percent said such a religious preference would make them less likely to vote for a candidate, 21 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for the same candidate.
Military experience was the characteristic with the highest positive feedback among respondents with 43 percent saying it would make them more likely to vote for a candidate. Just four percent viewed veterans negatively.
Other characteristics the Pew surveyors asked about included executive experience, Catholicism, Hispanic origin, status as female, experience as a business executive and attendance at some fancypants college or university.
The Pew poll surveyed 1,501 residents of the United States who claimed to be at least 18 years of age. Of those respondents, 389 called themselves Republicans, 452 called themselves Democrats and 593 described themselves as politically independent.
Surveys were conducted in both English and Spanish.