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From Politics to the PewsHow Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity$
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Michele F. Margolis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226555645

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226555812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Putting Things in Context: Religious and Political Attachments over Time

Putting Things in Context: Religious and Political Attachments over Time

(p.19) Two Putting Things in Context: Religious and Political Attachments over Time
From Politics to the Pews

Michele F. Margolis

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 provides an overview of religion’s role in American politics. In the 1970s and 1980s, Democratic and Republican elites for the first time staked out divergent positions on moral issues and used religious faith to varying degrees when reaching out to voters. At the same time, voters shifted from being politically divided along mainly denominational lines—for example, most Catholics were Democrats and most Protestants Republicans—to being divided along lines of religiosity—with devout Catholics and Protestants being Republicans and less religious Catholics and Protestants being Democrats. After describing the received wisdom on how this so-called “God gap” came about—religious individuals sorted into the Republican Party and the less religious became Democrats-the chapter concludes by explaining why this explanation is intuitively appealing yet ultimately unsatisfactory.

Keywords:   religion and politics, “God gap”, morality politics, Religious Right

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