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