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Research: Pope Francis is most popular among liberals, college educated and older Americans

Pope Francis, who is winning hearts and minds among Catholics and non-Catholics alike on his U.S. tour, is most popular among liberals, the college educated and older adults, according to Pew Research Center reports generated earlier this year.

Pope Francis is greeted by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey as he arrives at Philadelphia International Airport on Saturday. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

To be sure, the Holy Father is rated highly across the sociological spread, but the papal poll numbers were highest among those groups, the data show.

In a speech in Philadelphia Pope Francis extolled American ideals and progress, citing the abolition of slavery, the growth of the labor movement and the fight for racial equality as proof that "when a country is determined to remain true to its founding principles, based on respect for human dignity, it is strengthened and renewed," the Associated Press reported. 

Francis did not specifically mention political hot potatoes such as gay marriage or abortion but spoke of  "threats to religious liberty in broader, more global terms," the AP reported.

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Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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