February 8, 2005


2004 Election Marked by Religious Polarization (Pew Forum)

The close 2004 presidential election produced increased polarization between and within religious communities, according to a new poll conducted by The University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

The Fourth National Survey of Religion and Politics, sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, was conducted in November and December 2004.

Titled "The American Religious Landscape and the 2004 Presidential Vote: Increased Polarization," the poll included 2,730 respondents originally surveyed the previous spring.

The findings of the survey include:

* Mainline Protestants, considered a strong Republican constituency, divided their votes evenly between President George W. Bush and challenger John Kerry, producing the highest level of support for a Democratic presidential candidate in recent times from that religious group.

* Modernist Protestants (78%) and Catholics (69%) strongly supported Kerry, increasing their votes and turnout for the Democrat (71% and 70%, respectively) over 2000.

* The Democratic Party candidate gained ground among voters who were unaffiliated with major religions compared to 2000 (up 5 percentage points to 72%), but the turnout of those voters remained unchanged (52%).

* The Republican incumbent's biggest gain came among Latino Protestants (63%), who moved from the Democratic column in 2000 to the Republican column in 2004.

* Non-Latino Catholics, once a bedrock Democratic constituency, gave a majority of their votes (53%) to the Republican Party incumbent. This gain was due primarily to increased support among traditionalist Catholics, but President Bush also won the crucial swing group of centrist Catholics (55%).

* Black Protestants (17%) and Latino Catholics (31%) supported Bush more than in 2000, but remained solidly Democratic.

The Republican Party is a growth stock.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2005 5:08 PM

Pew (how apt) calls it "Religious Polarization" indicating that they are more comfortable with anti-religious polarization. Unfortunately for them God is on the side of the bigger (and growing) battalions.

Posted by: Luciferous at February 8, 2005 5:54 PM

There must be something wrong with me. I'm "unaffiliated with major religions" but have never voted for a Democrat for president.

Posted by: Brandon at February 8, 2005 10:07 PM

Come on Brandon, get w/the porogram then.

Posted by: Phil at February 9, 2005 8:33 PM