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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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6/11/2004

The 'Religion Gap' 

USA Today ran an article not long ago about the 'Religion Gap' between the Democrats and Republicans. (Unfortunately, the full article in their archives is NOT free, so I can't link to it anymore.) There is a pretty good study of the subject here, and it's free.

To sum up:
According to Voter News Service (VNS) exit polling, in the 1992 congressional election, frequent worship attenders preferred Republican to Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives by 53 to 47 percent. By the 2002 congressional election, this six percent gap had ballooned to 20 percentage points, with frequent attenders voting in favor of Republican House candidates by 60 to 40 percent.

That's a HUGE difference in just ten years, probably because of the reputation of President Clinton. The article goes on to say that voters in 1992 who attended church regularly were more likely to vote for a local Democratic candidate than the Democratic Presidential candidate.

Why is this? Are religious voters more concerned about social issues like abortion than social issues like hunger? Or do religious voters have different answers than the Democratic Party has to offer? I tend to think the latter. Members of the 'religious right' have tended to put more emphasis on issues such as abortion, the death penalty, etc.

I'm surprised that the gap isn't bigger than it is -- after all, if you read the news and the Web, it's the "Religious Right" that is controlling the Bush White House (unless, of course, it's the Reconstructionists). The thing I think is important about the study is that the gap isn't as big as people want to think -- on both sides of the aisle. The "Religious Right" gets a lot more press, but there is a Religious Left that is calmer, quieter, and just as dedicated to getting their candidates in office.


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