Americans Don't Want Atheists Or Newbies In Public Office, According To New Poll

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In a new Pew Research survey, Americans were asked about the traits that would make them more or less likely to vote for a candidate for public office.

For most people, it doesn't matter if a given candidate is Catholic, Hispanic, or attended a prestigious university. Voters did care, however, if candidates had previously served as governors or business executives.

Overall, those surveyed said they would be less likely to vote for candidates who have used marijuana, had extramarital affairs, or who identify as gay or lesbian. Atheists and people who have never held any office, however, will have the hardest time finding support among voters.

Interestingly, experience in Washington, D.C., also makes about a third of respondents less likely to vote for a given person. Military service, meanwhile, was ranked as the most positive trait.

Broken down by party, it doesn't matter to most Republicans, Democrats, and Independents whether a candidate is male or female. Democrats, however, were three times more inclined to vote for women.

See the full results of the Pew survey here. (Pew)