September 8, 2004


GOP the Religion-Friendly Party, But Stem Cell Issue May Help Democrats (Pew Forum)

As the Republicans gather in New York to nominate George W. Bush for a second term, more Americans see the Republican Party than the Democratic Party as friendly toward religion. And most express comfort with President Bush's reliance on his religious beliefs in making policy decisions. On the issue of gay marriage, Bush and his party benefit from the strong support of religious conservatives and division among Democrats. [...]

The nationwide survey of 1,512 adults, conducted August 5-10 by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, shows that in a campaign dominated by the war in Iraq, terrorism and the economy, moral issues could have a significant impact.

Fully 64% of voters say the issue of "moral values" will be very important to their vote. [...]

The poll paints a portrait of a public comfortable with politicians who talk about their religious beliefs and who rely on religion in making decisions. Roughly seven-in-ten voters (72%) continue to say it is important to them that a president have strong religious beliefs. Majorities feel both Bush and Kerry mention their faith the right amount. [...]

While neither political party is seen as particularly unfriendly toward religion, somewhat more say the Republican Party is friendly toward religion (52%) than the Democratic Party (40%). There is a much bigger gap in views of whether conservatives and liberals have a favorable attitude toward religion. By roughly five-to-one (49% to 9%), more say conservatives are friendly than unfriendly toward religion. Public opinion is split over liberals; 21% say liberals are friendly toward religion, 23% unfriendly.

It seems not too much to say that the GOP is the American party and the Democrats the European party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2004 7:50 PM

In Europe, the Democrats would be the center-right party.

Also, I suspect that this survey is capturing a lot of vote justification, rather than motivation.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 8, 2004 9:36 PM

There's Republicans and there's France!

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at September 9, 2004 4:35 AM

The Democrats would have been a center-right party in Europe till a few years ago. Nowadays, they start to resemble a toxic mixture of European social-democrats and greens. Even some European social democratic parties acknowledge that the welfare state needs reform.

Posted by: Peter at September 9, 2004 4:57 AM

We may finally be seeing the political realignment that the end of the Cold War makes necessary. Since economic issues are essentially off the table, the electorate is defined by people who want to 'fight the culture war' and those who don't. There are people out there who feel that they have to right to dictate to other people how they should behave in private, and there are people who think the taxpayer should approve and subsidize all manner of perversion and deviance. Both are wrong.

The current DLC wing of the Democrat party and the Arnie/Rudy GOP could easily form a new grouping, leaving the religious busybodies and the Socialists off to stew in their juices.

Posted by: Bart at September 9, 2004 6:50 AM