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Generalizing the Life-Cycle Theory: A Reevaluation of the 1960 Election

Generalizing the Life-Cycle Theory: A Reevaluation of the 1960 Election

Chapter:
(p.179) Eight Generalizing the Life-Cycle Theory: A Reevaluation of the 1960 Election
Source:
From Politics to the Pews
Author(s):
Michele F. Margolis
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226555812.003.0008

Chapter 8 discusses the life-cycle theory’s applicability to other political contexts. The expectations tested throughout this book stem from the contemporary political environment, but the life-cycle theory does not rely on any particular relationship between religion and political parties. The theory should therefore be a useful guide as new issues emerge, new groups form, and the parties change their policy positions and electoral strategies. The chapter offers one example of this by looking at the 1960 presidential election and show evidence of the life-cycle theory at work in a different political environment in which religion and political parties were linked in very different ways than they are today.

Keywords:   religion and politics, God gap, Catholics, panel data, church attendance, elections, John F. Kennedy

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