The more religious a person is, the more likely they will identify with the Republican Party, according to a new Gallup poll. Blacks, however, do not follow the same pattern as other Americans.
Forty-nine percent of strongly religious Americans identify with the Republican Party, or are Republican-leaning independents, while 36 percent identify with the Democratic Party, or are Democratic-leaning independents.
Among nonreligious Americans, 52 percent identify with the Democratic Party, or are Democratic- leaning independents, while 30 percent identify with the Republican Party, or are Republican-leaning independents.
When broken down by race, the poll shows a correlation between religion and party identification for whites, Latinos and Asians, but not for blacks.
Sixty-two percent of strongly religious whites identify with the Republican Party, or are Republican- leaning independents. Strongly religious whites represent an important demographic because they are more likely to be active in politics and vote than the general population.
Among Asians and Latinos, a plurality support the Democratic Party, even among the highly religious, but the highly religious are more likely to support the Republican Party than those who are not highly religious.
Among non-Latino blacks, only about 10 percent identify with the Republican Party, regardless of how religious they are. Blacks have been strong supporters of the Democratic Party since the 1964 election after Democratic President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law.
The poll measures religiosity by asking respondents how important religion is to them and how often they attend religious services. Based upon responses to those two questions, Gallup divided respondents into three categories – very religious, moderately religious and nonreligious.
The results do not represent a change, but are consistent with previous polls and with election results. At least since the 2000 election, religiosity has been a strong predictor of vote choice, with highly religious voters more likely to vote Republican and less religious voters more likely to vote Democrat.
The poll was based upon Gallup's daily tracking poll conducted Jul. 1 – Oct. 26. The sample is 116,307 adults and the margin of error for the full sample is +/- 1 percentage point. The sample of whites, blacks and Latinos each has a +/- 1 percentage point sampling error also. The sample of Asians has a +/- 2 percentage point sampling error.