New Pope World Cup Poll

Is the election of the first Latin American Pope a big deal? According to US Hispanics, it’s about as big a deal as winning the World Cup.

Which is to say… really big.

In a poll conducted yesterday by, 51% of respondents indicated that they would rather see a Pope from the country of their birth than see their country win the World Cup. Of course, statistically, soccer championships are easier to come by than popes; out of the 19 World Cup tournaments held since 1930, Latin American teams have won 9 titles, while European nations have captured the other 10. The scales are tipped a bit more dramatically in Europe’s favor with regard to papal nationality.

As far as impact is concerned, the election of Francisco I appears likely to have a positive effect on the affinity of Latinos for the Catholic Church here in the United States. According to the same poll conducted by, 35% of US Hispanics feel that Francisco’s selection will bring them closer to the church. Another 14% of respondents were happy to see an Argentine Pope, while 51% were indifferent toward the choice made by the College of Cardinals.