The Strong Connection Between Religion and Political Party Affiliation in America

In a recent survey conducted by Gullup, it was found that religion has continued to influence party affiliation in America. In two surveys conducted six and a half years apart, the relationship between religion and party affiliation has remained the same, while overall party identification trends have shifted. Americans who identify as very religious are more likely to support the Republicans, while those who identify as moderately or nonreligious are more likely to support the Democrats.

In an overall survey of Americans this conclusion remains true. However, when divided demographically it is found that African Americans do not fall within this pattern. Overall, there is very low support for the Republicans and the highest supporting group is actually the moderately religious not the very religious. The three other demographics, white, Hispanic and Asian Americans all fall within the pattern. However, there is still greater overall support for the Democrats by Hispanics and Asian Americans. It should be noted that the United States Census considers those of Middle Eastern descent to be Asian Americans.

I find it interesting that this article does not differentiate between religions. It simply categorizes people as very religious, moderately religious or nonreligious. If the population were divided not just demographically, but religiously as well it would be interesting to see if this pattern remains true. Does it only appear in Christians, the predominant religion of America? Or perhaps only in those who practice Abrahamic religions and share many of the same beliefs and values. Does it extend to those who practice Eastern or indigenous religions? These questions must be taken into consideration to fully understand the relationship between religion and political affiliation.

Overall, I do not find these results to be surprising. Republicans are known to support Christian beliefs and often take a strong conservative stance on issues such as birth control and same-sex marriage. Therefore, the fact that religious Americans are predominantly Republicans and all others are predominately Democrats is not surprising. However, this article still brings a few questions to mind. Are religious beliefs too entrenched in political platforms? Is it even possible to separate these two things, when many religious values and beliefs are reflected by the social norms of secular society? How can Democrats gain supporters who are very religious and how can Republicans gain the support of the less religious?

-T

#349

The article can be found here: http://bit.ly/1tSBnmA

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2 thoughts on “The Strong Connection Between Religion and Political Party Affiliation in America

  1. I am in complete agreement with your observation of the lack of religious differentiation. The results of the survey would be completely different if it was to be evaluated based on religious affiliation opposed to the intensity of the beliefs. If we were able to know not only religious beliefs but the people’s choice of narrative paradigms, which is a point of view on which people perceive the world. If we were able to figure out if voters pertain to a specific narrative paradigm that is related to the Democratic of Republican parties, the article would be able to explain more successfully the patterns observed in the survey results. A lot of the time, politicians use propaganda and persuasive language that reaches out to specific narrative paradigms that would be more successful in obtaining more votes than other language and/or propaganda would be able to do. Most of the time, narrative paradigms are affected by radical change opposed to small change and evolution, and these radical changes are something that politicians usually subscribe to in order to receive more votes. Evaluation of the type of narrative paradigm and religions that people believe in would contribute in causing voters to change the way they act and not just simply accept what politicians tell them. For this reason, it would be much more beneficial to know the types of paradigms and religions people believe in, not the intensity of their belief.

  2. A very interesting read, I had no idea that religion could play such a huge role in party affiliation. I also found it interesting how they only grouped these individuals as religious or semi religious. I completely agree with your statement, more should be done to sub dived these religious groups. That being said I feel the only way the republics and democrats can diversify there vote is to diversify their platform. Which I understand is easier said than done. I also feel that religious views are too entrenched in political parties mainly because religion plays such an influential role on an individual’s life. It’s extremely difficult for some to change their religious opinion, something that they grew up with. This directly mirrors political parties.

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