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President Obama will send his new jobs bill to Congress today, the recommendations he pushed during his address to a joint session of Congress last Thursday. The bill would direct more than $400 billion to programs the President hopes will improve the nation's unemployment, which remains stubbornly high.

The most recent political poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds only seven percent of Americans say the economy is doing well. And the views of many evangelicals are more pessimistic than those of other Americans. But the economic perceptions are just that—perceptions.

Pew's April poll asked several questions about both personal finances and the national economy. When asked about their personal finances, few Americans say that their situation is poor. White evangelicals, however, stand out as having a worse view of their own finances, almost twice as likely as mainline Protestants to have a poor financial situation.

Moreover, evangelicals are much more pessimistic that this situation will improve. Pew asked Americans if their personal financial situations would improve or get worse. Among mainline Protestants and Catholics, a response of hope still outnumbers despair. Nearly half of evangelicals believe their financial situation will get worse over the course of the next year.

Like other Americans, evangelicals view the economic situation as dire. Less than 10 percent of Americans of any religion believe the economy is on sound footing. About half of Americans also believe that the economy is not recovering and will not recover for a long time. Evangelicals appear more pessimistic than most Americans. More than two-thirds of evangelicals said that it will be a long time before the U.S. economy ...

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September 2011

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