A colleague shared the below graphic from Twitter with claims about how the opinions of various demographic groups hava changed between 2011 and 2016:

enter image description here

This seems automatically dubious as neither the graphic nor the associated tweet cites any source for the data. Also pretty much all of the claimed percentages strike me as too high to be realistic, regardless of who or how immoral the president at the time of the survey happened to be.

Is this claim completely made up, or is it reporting an actual survey result (and if it is, is it doing so accurately)?

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    It'll be interesting what this poll looks like when the white evangelical presidential candidate is seen as morally beyond reproach. I believe that this is in-group favoritism and doesn't actually reflect that white evangelicals believe this is true in general. Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


The source is this poll from PRRI, and the image is from this NPR article.

The NPR article puts this in the context of the 2016 election and especially evangelicals wanting to vote for Trump despite his "sexual misconduct". In this context, the spike does not seem unreasonable.

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    Evangelicals are overwhelmingly Republican, Donald Trump was the Republican candidate, very straight forward that their attitudes would change in order to rationalize voting for Trump.
    – DenisS
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 21:05
  • It would help if you included the text of the question that was asked, so we know exactly how 'unethical' was defined in the question and what people were agreeing with.
    – dsollen
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 13:26
  • @dsollen I don't think that polls like this typically define words. In this case, "unethical" also seems like a commonly used word that doesn't need a definition. The graphic contains almost the entire question already: "Do you think an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life?".
    – tim
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 13:36
  • "Unnethical", "Immoral" and even "sexual misconduct" all are prone to interpretation and can be used to describe a myriad of behaviours or actions examples: woman cheat husband, man cheat wife, sex out of marriage with a coworker, sex out of marriage with a prostitute, gay sex with a transgender prostitute. Put all this option in a poll and results will be different
    – jean
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 12:10

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