Tags: GOP | Can't | Win | Without | Religious | Conservatives

GOP Can't Win Without Religious Conservatives

Friday, 13 May 2005 12:00 AM

The study further found that traditionalist elements within each religion tended to vote Republican, while modernist groups within the religions trended towards the Democrats.

A multiple regression analysis of exit poll and public opinion survey data from 2000 and 2004 enabled the Pew Research Center to assign a relative weight to various demographic markers. Interestingly, church attendance was tied with race as the most significant factor. But even that number is deceiving; in that race is only an important factor due to the high level of support the Democrats receive from black voters.

These trends represent a major shift over the past forty-five years. White Evangelicals in 1960 favored Democrats by a two-to-one margin; now they are Republican by a 56 – 27 percent margin.

Seventy-eight percent of them voted for President Bush in 2004. In 1960, 71 percent of Catholics were Democrats and now Democrats have only a slight edge among Catholics (44 – 41 percent) and Catholics voted for President Bush (52 – 47 percent) in 2004.

These trends have also brought an increased acceptance of religion in the public square. While Americans do tend to favor the separation of church and state, 70 percent of voters want their President to have strong religious beliefs. Likewise, the study reveals that 52 percent of Americans believe that churches should express political views. Surprisingly, support for political involvement of churches is strongest among younger voters age 18 to 29 (59 percent).

Americans do draw the line at the endorsement of candidates, with 65 percent of all voters and 61 percent of religious voters opposing such endorsements.

Religious and cultural issues provided the margin of victory for Republicans in the 2000 and 2004 elections. If this trend continues, it could be one of the most important political stories of the next several decades.

Message to Republicans: You are winning because of cultural issues. "Move to the center" on those issues and you will move out of the White House and back to minority status in Congress.

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The study further found that traditionalist elements within each religion tended to vote Republican, while modernist groups within the religions trended towards the Democrats. A multiple regression analysis of exit poll and public opinion survey data from 2000 and 2004...
GOP,Can't,Win,Without,Religious,Conservatives
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2005-00-13
Friday, 13 May 2005 12:00 AM
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