Granted, this is only based on 1018 respondents, but oye!
Some of the lowlights:
*80% believed in god
*an additional 12% believed in some sort of universal spirit
*Belief in God drops below 90% among younger Americans, liberals, those living in the East, those with postgraduate educations, and political independents
*However, belief in God is nearly universal among Republicans and conservatives and, to a slightly lesser degree, in the South.
So my question for you is this: Do you think these numbers an accurate representation or are people being deceptive in their responses?
A Gallup poll in 2008 said ~6% did not believe in any god or "universal spirit". So this poll actually shows a slight increase in nonbelievers in America. Encouraging news I guess.
It's a loaded question which almost always ends up over representing theists.
First off the question is spurious from the get go. It is so vague that I can almost hear all the ignostics cringe. What is "god?" God with a capital G or could it mean the Hindu asuras and devas? Neo-Pagan deities? Great Mother? Great Juju up the Mountain?
Second, it ignores social stigmas on not believing. Crypto-atheists will always end up making these sorts of surveys crap. They will openly admit that they believe in god because social mores dictate that they should.
It's all in how you look at it.
I suspect, but don't know, that some people who answer this belief question "yes" might really be saying something more akin to "sure, right, whatever." It's not a question that a lot of people feel comfortable talking or thinking about.
To be sure, self-professed (or "admitted" as I have seen it described, to my horror) atheists constitute a tiny minority. But I still suspect that in polls like this some people will say "yes" and not really think about it much.
The more I have been vocal in expressing my Atheism the more people I have met who identify as Christian or believing in god who will tell me they really don't hold those beliefs. I was in a Veterans housing program and I shared an apartment with three other Vets who all would identify as Christian. One of the three was a heavy Christian, one was what I would call an Agnostic Theist, and the other was an Atheist who didn't ever admit it to anyone until I got there. The other Atheist would still never tell anyone in his family and would still identify as Christian on paperwork.
That is just one story and the fact is I have been surprised at just how many Atheists I know who I never knew were Atheists. A lot of them identify as the religion they were raised even though they do not hold any theistic beliefs.
So to answer the question I think the numbers are not what they seem and the more freely we are willing to express our views the more other people who share them will come forward. That said I recently accidentally converted an agnostic Christian to Atheist, it wasn't intentional I only told him my views when asked.