Belonging, Believing, and Group Behavior: Religiosity and Voting in American Presidential Elections

  • Smith L
  • Walker L
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The authors examine the effect of religiosity on intended and recalled voter turnout in presidential elections.They argue that the trade-off between time spent in worship and time spent in political activities, specifically voter turnout, is strongest for mainline Protestants, weaker for Catholics, and nonexistent for evangelical Protestants. Evangelical Protestants increasingly recognize the connection between their religious beliefs and politics, with the result that they have formed a habit of voting.This argument has important implications for American voting behavior literature. Going beyond partisan voting patterns, the findings demonstrate that evangelical Protestants manifest unique patterns as they relate to turnout patterns.

Author-supplied keywords

  • elections
  • religion and politics
  • religiosity
  • turnout
  • voting

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  • Lauren E. Smith

  • Lee Demetrius Walker

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