Poll: Very Religious Americans Identify More as Republicans

Religious Americans identify themselves more as Republicans or lean Republican, a Gallup poll analysis revealed on Monday.

The report also showed that nonreligious Americans are more likely to align more with Democrats or lean Democratic.

The study covers a period of three years, from February 2008 to May 2011, with more than 1 million interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking.

The analysis was based on three levels of religious intensity: very religious, moderately religious and nonreligious.

According to the report, very religious Americans are 19 percent more likely to identify as Republicans than the nonreligious are.

Among “very religious” Americans, 48 percent identify themselves as Republicans/Leaners while 38 percent say they are Democrats/Leaners. Among the nonreligious, 29 percent align themselves with the GOP while 54 percent identify with the Democratic Party.

As for moderately religious Americans, 37 percent identify themselves as Republicans and 45 percent as Democrats.

Americans who identify as Independents/No Lean are more likely to be moderately religious or nonreligious than very religious.

“Very religious Americans have remained the most Republican across the last three years and four months, moderately religious Americans less so, and nonreligious Americans remain the least Republican of the three groups,” the Gallup organization reported.

Overall, across the board – from the very religious to the nonreligious – Gallup found that more are identifying as Republican, particularly since the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008.

The accompanying graph to the poll illustrated that during the November 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama, those who identified as leaning Republican dropped but began to pick up again in mid-2009 until May this year with a slight drop.

Gallup reported, “These broad shifts in party affiliation were evident across all three religious groups. All three became less Republican in late 2008 and all three have become more Republican since. But differences among the partisan orientations of the three groups remained virtually the same.”

The poll highlighted that Obama “still enjoys relatively strong support among Americans who are nonreligious, but that in the coming election he will again face an uphill battle among those who are moderately and, in particular, very religious, given the latter's clear tendency to identify as Republicans.”

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