Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Debunking the Religion Myth

Ed: In this post I’m using the term religious almost exclusively to refer to Christians, mostly because the data I’m using did the same thing. My apologies. Also, there’s a lot of graphs and numbers. You’ve been warned.

Common parlance places religious Americans overwhelmingly in the Republican camp. Survey data, though, tells a much more nuanced story.

Party Identification by Religious Group

Here’s a chart from Pew measuring religious belief as a function of partisan identification over the last 15 years:

As you can see, White Mainline Protestants and White Catholics are just about equally likely to be Republicans or Democrats. The variation comes from the White Evangelical Protestants, who, unsurprisingly, are overwhelmingly Republican, and those with no religion, who identify overwhelmingly as independents or Democrats.

(I was a bit confused at the “white” modifier, at first, until I looked a little deeper into their classification system. “White” doesn’t refer to the people surveyed, but to the type of church. In this case, all the Protestant or Catholic churches excluding traditionally black ones. Historically black churches surveyed are 78% Democratic, and 6 and 10% independent and Republican, respectively. Even after including other denominations, including the overwhelmingly Republican Mormons, the black church vote tips things a tad further in the Democratic column. Just something to keep in mind moving forward.)

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About the Author

Brian Eason is a University of Missouri graduate with bachelor degrees in Journalism and Political Science. He has covered Congressional elections and local government for the Columbia Missourian and worked as a general assignment reporter for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, IL. Brian has also had articles published in Roll Call.