The poll by the Pew Research Center was conducted March 13-17 in the days immediately following the election of Francis. It involved a national sampling of 1,501 adults in all 50 states, 325 of them identified as Catholics.
Thirty-one percent of U.S. Catholics surveyed said they were "very happy" with the selection of Pope Francis while four in 10 Catholics or 41 percent felt his selection represents a "major change" for the church.
Not only is Francis the first Latin American to serve as pope but he is also the first Jesuit to be chosen.
Pew said those polled were 18 years or older, living in all 50 states. The poll contained a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.