Southern Religion

Republicanism, religion and the ‘nones’

We need the nones to see the probable meaning of the most recent Gallup analysis of tracking data for the relationship between intensity of religious faith and political party identification.

First, the Gallup analysis concludes:

The percentage of Americans who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party drops from 49% among the highly religious to 26% among those who are not religious. The percentage who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party rises from 37% among the highly religious to 56% among those who are not religious. For comparison, the party figures for November among all adults in these data are 40% Republicans/Republican leaners and 45% Democrats/Democratic leaners.

Thus, Republicans are in the plurality among highly religious Americans. For each of the other three groups, Democrats are equal with or higher in number than Republicans. The Democratic edge expands as religiosity decreases. Among the not-religious group, Democrats have a 30-point edge over Republicans.

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) found that the “percentage of Christians in America” on the decline and nones are on the rise. Specifically:

The non-theist and No Religion groups collectively known as “Nones” have gained almost 20 million adults since 1990 and risen from 8.2 to 15.0 percent of the total population. If we include those Americans who either don’t know their religious identification (0.9 percent) or refuse to answer our key question (4.1 percent), and who tend to somewhat resemble “Nones” in their social profile and beliefs, we can observe that in 2008 one in five adults does not identify with a religion of any kind compared with one in ten in 1990.

Thus, as long as Republicanism’s principal appeal is to the most fervent Christians, as Gallup found, Republican political influence is likely to continue to wane.


December 14, 2009 - Posted by | Politics, Religion, Uncategorized | , , ,

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