The nonprofit research organization Public Religion Research Institute yesterday released the 2011 American Values Survey, the newest edition of its extensive annual survey that gauges Americans’ beliefs on important issues at the intersection of religion, values, and politics. Here are a couple of the most interesting findings:

  • A strong majority (60 percent) of Americans agree that the country would be better off if the distribution of wealth was more equal, while 39 percent disagree.
  • Seven-in-ten (70 percent) Americans favor “the Buffett rule,” a proposal to increase the tax rate on Americans earning more than $1 million per year, compared to only 27 percent who oppose it.
  • A majority (53 percent) of Americans believe that one of the biggest problems in the country is that everyone does not have an equal chance in life. Four-in-ten Americans say that it is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance than others.
  • Two-thirds of voters say that it is very important (39 percent) or somewhat important (28 percent) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. However, roughly 1-in-5 (19 percent) voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had strong religious beliefs if those beliefs were very different from their own.
  • A majority of voters (53 percent) report that they would be somewhat or very comfortable with a Mormon serving as President, although 42 percent say that a Mormon president would make them somewhat or very uncomfortable.

You can read the full report here.