Every year since 1994 whenever I have taught Intro to Sociology I have administered a 15 item opinion survey. I have used this exercise primarily to talk about methodology, but also to explore trends in American popular opinion. In all years previous, three of the questions asked were "All factors being equal, I would feel comfortable voting for a [female, African-American, gay person] for President." This year I added "atheist" to this series of questions. The results of this latest survey were interesting, and I was pleasantly surprised at how receptive the students were to an atheist President.
Here are the data from 75 students (vast majority first year, 70% female):
Coincidentally, this week in our weekly student newspaper a student "outed" herself in an opinion column. Here is the http://www.elon.edu/pendulum/Story.aspx?id=3259
link. Elon University is located in the Bible Belt in central North Carolina, though we draw students from all over the US.