By Richard Yeakley
Religion News Service
WASHINGTON (RNS) A slim majority of evangelicals favor government shutdown over a budget compromise, according to new research by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The U.S. government will shutter all non-essential services at midnight, Friday (April 8) if congressional Republicans and Democrats cannot reach an agreement on the U.S. budget for the 2011 fiscal year.
With a potential shutdown imminent, 51 percent of evangelicals want lawmakers to "stand by their principles" while 39 percent favored a compromise, according to poll data analyzed by Christianity Today.
Overall, 55 percent of Americans favored a compromise while 36 percent are opposed.
Evangelicals are the most supportive of all major Christian groups for a government shutdown, with other religious groups closer to the national average.
More than 70 percent of black Protestants want lawmakers to compromise, along with 63 percent of Catholics and 52 percent of mainline Protestants.
White Protestants overall prefer a compromise even if respondents disagreed with the budget eventually passed, according to Christianity Today.
The survey also found that the majority of Republicans supported a shutdown, while 69 percent of Democrats want their lawmakers to choose compromise.
The overall sample of 1,507 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, with larger margins for individual sample groups.
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