WASHINGTON Americans overwhelmingly want the phrase "under God" preserved in the Pledge of Allegiance, a new poll says as the Supreme Court examines whether the classroom salute crosses the division of church and state.
Almost nine in 10 people said the reference to God belongs in the pledge despite constitutional questions about the separation of church and state, according to an Associated Press poll.
The AP poll, conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs, found college graduates were more likely than those who did not have a college degree to say the phrase "under God" should be removed. Democrats and independents were more likely than Republicans to think the phrase should be taken out.
The AP-Ipsos poll question:
"Now, a question about the Pledge of Allegiance. The Supreme Court hears arguments later this month in a case involving the Pledge of Allegiance and the Constitution's separation of church and state provision. Justices are being asked to decide whether it's unconstitutional for public school children to recite the pledge because it contains the phrase 'under God.' Do you think the phrase under God … "
- "Should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance," 87%.
- "Should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance," 12%.
- "Not sure," 1%.
The AP-Ipsos poll of 1,001 adults was taken March 19-21 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.