HOW RELIGION EFFECTS VOTE CHOICE
Politics and religion have been an essential part of American elections since the Pilgrims crash landed on Plymouth Rock. In my early days in politics, it became apparent to me that Jews and most Catholics voted Democratic, and Protestants voted Republican. This was how we determined our “get out the vote” strategy. This was simplistic, of course, but in the age with no computers and accurate voting lists, this system worked just fine. Today targeting likely voters who will vote for your candidate has become an art form practiced by every political consultant.
Recently I came across data produced by Pew Research that measured the “religiosity” of voters in every state. In 2014, Pew Research conducted a series surveys to assess religiosity, using a person’s frequency of prayer, and belief in God. From these surveys they constructed an index of how religious the population in each state ranked. The scores for each of these four individual items are then summed, creating a religiosity score (Source: Pew Religious Landscape Study). With my curiosity aroused, I decided to determine if more religious voters voted more for Trump than for Biden.
Using this metric, Pew produced a state-by-state estimate of the percentage of highly religious voters. In Table 1 below, is a list of each state’s religious percent and the percentage of voters who voted for Trump. As you can see, most of the states with highest percent religious scores are in the deep south. Trump carried all these states, except for Georgia, where he lost by 0.20%. In states with a religious percent below 50%, he lost all but two states: Alaska and Montana.
|STATE||% RELIGIOUS||Trump %|
|District of Columbia||53||5.4|
Perhaps this isn’t too surprising since Trump had embraced the Evangelical community with open arms and they have in turn embraced him. His effort to win over Evangelical Ministers by pledging to eliminate Roe v. Wade overcame any objections that a divorced man who had an affair with porn a star and a playboy bunny and who rarely attended church running against a Catholic man who attends mass every Sunday and prays everyday. It was an easy choice. I don’t know about you but I love politics.
But my question is how many votes did these religous votes did Trump actually win? Most exit polls have have Trump carrying the Protestant vote with 60% versus Biden’s 40%. But not all Protestants are highly relitious.
But I can estimate the percent of highly religious voters while controlling for partisanship by using a statistical technique called multiple regression. The table below shows the
|Model||Unstandardized Coefficients||Standardized Coefficients||t||Sig.|