When it comes to the pope’s messages of forgiveness or increased tolerance on traditionally hot-button social issues—abortion, gays, marriage, and immigration—Americans across party lines are overwhelmingly supportive of Francis.
But on the one global issue on which he’s staked so much of his reputation, with a June papal encyclical urging action to combat climate change, just one-third of those surveyed are supportive.
They’re also lukewarm about the pope’s activism against economic inequality, which has become a rallying cry for Democrats in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In Bolivia last month, Francis gave a speech in which he decried the “subtle dictatorship” of money. Where “an unfettered pursuit of money rules,” the pope said, “the service of the common good is left behind.” Asked how they feel about Francis’s denunciations of the “economy of exclusion and inequality,” 48 percent of those responding said it is a “good direction” for the Catholic Church.