The Republicanization of evangelical Protestants in the United States: An examination of the sources of political realignment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the association between evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations is now a fundamental aspect of American politics, this was not the case as recently as the early 1980s. Following work on secular political realignment and the issue evolution model of partisan change, I use four decades of repeated cross-sectional survey data to examine the dynamic correlates of evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations, and how these factors promote changes in partisanship. Results show that evangelical Protestants have become relatively more likely to attend religious services and to oppose homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending. Period-specific mediation models show that opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and welfare spending have become more robust predictors of Republican affiliation. By the twenty-first century, differences in Republican affiliation between evangelical Protestants and other religious affiliates are fully mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending; and differences in Republican affiliation between evangelicals and the religiously unaffiliated are substantially mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, welfare spending, and military spending. These results further understanding of rapid changes in politico-religious alignments and the increasing importance of moral and cultural issues in American politics, which supports a culture wars depiction of the contemporary political landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-254
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Fingerprint

homosexuality
abortion
welfare
examination
politics
twenty-first century
mediation
opposition
Military

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Homosexuality
  • Mediate
  • Military
  • Political party
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Social change
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

@article{79068900294b48449c0ec9556389fb25,
title = "The Republicanization of evangelical Protestants in the United States: An examination of the sources of political realignment",
abstract = "Although the association between evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations is now a fundamental aspect of American politics, this was not the case as recently as the early 1980s. Following work on secular political realignment and the issue evolution model of partisan change, I use four decades of repeated cross-sectional survey data to examine the dynamic correlates of evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations, and how these factors promote changes in partisanship. Results show that evangelical Protestants have become relatively more likely to attend religious services and to oppose homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending. Period-specific mediation models show that opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and welfare spending have become more robust predictors of Republican affiliation. By the twenty-first century, differences in Republican affiliation between evangelical Protestants and other religious affiliates are fully mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending; and differences in Republican affiliation between evangelicals and the religiously unaffiliated are substantially mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, welfare spending, and military spending. These results further understanding of rapid changes in politico-religious alignments and the increasing importance of moral and cultural issues in American politics, which supports a culture wars depiction of the contemporary political landscape.",
keywords = "Abortion, Homosexuality, Mediate, Military, Political party, Politics, Religion, Social change, Welfare",
author = "Schwadel, {Philip M}",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.08.010",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "62",
pages = "238--254",
journal = "Social Science Research",
issn = "0049-089X",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Republicanization of evangelical Protestants in the United States

T2 - An examination of the sources of political realignment

AU - Schwadel, Philip M

PY - 2017/2/1

Y1 - 2017/2/1

N2 - Although the association between evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations is now a fundamental aspect of American politics, this was not the case as recently as the early 1980s. Following work on secular political realignment and the issue evolution model of partisan change, I use four decades of repeated cross-sectional survey data to examine the dynamic correlates of evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations, and how these factors promote changes in partisanship. Results show that evangelical Protestants have become relatively more likely to attend religious services and to oppose homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending. Period-specific mediation models show that opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and welfare spending have become more robust predictors of Republican affiliation. By the twenty-first century, differences in Republican affiliation between evangelical Protestants and other religious affiliates are fully mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending; and differences in Republican affiliation between evangelicals and the religiously unaffiliated are substantially mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, welfare spending, and military spending. These results further understanding of rapid changes in politico-religious alignments and the increasing importance of moral and cultural issues in American politics, which supports a culture wars depiction of the contemporary political landscape.

AB - Although the association between evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations is now a fundamental aspect of American politics, this was not the case as recently as the early 1980s. Following work on secular political realignment and the issue evolution model of partisan change, I use four decades of repeated cross-sectional survey data to examine the dynamic correlates of evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations, and how these factors promote changes in partisanship. Results show that evangelical Protestants have become relatively more likely to attend religious services and to oppose homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending. Period-specific mediation models show that opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and welfare spending have become more robust predictors of Republican affiliation. By the twenty-first century, differences in Republican affiliation between evangelical Protestants and other religious affiliates are fully mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending; and differences in Republican affiliation between evangelicals and the religiously unaffiliated are substantially mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, welfare spending, and military spending. These results further understanding of rapid changes in politico-religious alignments and the increasing importance of moral and cultural issues in American politics, which supports a culture wars depiction of the contemporary political landscape.

KW - Abortion

KW - Homosexuality

KW - Mediate

KW - Military

KW - Political party

KW - Politics

KW - Religion

KW - Social change

KW - Welfare

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84995378160&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84995378160&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.08.010

DO - 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.08.010

M3 - Article

C2 - 28126101

AN - SCOPUS:84995378160

VL - 62

SP - 238

EP - 254

JO - Social Science Research

JF - Social Science Research

SN - 0049-089X

ER -