GOP Gains Support From All Major Religious Groups

Friday, 03 Feb 2012 04:40 PM

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The Republican Party is making gains or holding steady in every major religious group, including picking up support in traditionally Democratic strongholds such as Jewish voters.

The analysis of religious and political party identification by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life mirrors recent trends in the electorate that show Democratic Party affiliation dipping while those leaning toward the GOP has increased. Since 2008, those leaning Republican has gained 4 points since 2008 to 43 percent compared to 48 percent for Democrats.

The GOP has gained ground among religious groups that have traditionally supported them, such as Evangelicals and Mormons, and gained ground with religious groups that have been either evenly divided or leaned Democratic four years ago, such as mainline Protestants and white Catholics.

In 2008, mainline Protestants were evenly divided, both at 45 percent, but now favor the GOP, 51 to 39 percent. White Catholics leaned Democratic by a margin of 49 to 41 percent but now lean Republican, 49 to 42 percent.

While those of the Jewish faith still overwhelmingly support Democrats — by a margin of 65 to 29 percent — the GOP posted a 9 percent gain.

The GOP even picked up 3 points among those identifying themselves as atheists or agnostics, a group that favors Democrats 71 to 21 percent.

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