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Catholic and Evangelical voting: 1992 and 1994

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Uses Voter Research and Survey General Exit Polls to compare the political orientation of Catholics and Evangelicals. Since aggregates reveal, but also conceal, the data are disaggregated by race-ethnicity (white and non-white) and church attendance (weekly attenders and non-weekly attenders). Shows that a majority of all voters and all three religious groups are white (85 per cent or more); about 40 per cent of all voters attend religious services at least once a week (48 per cent for Catholics, 46 per cent for Protestants, and a striking 74 per cent for Evangelicals). Catholics were a solid Democratic vote at the presidential level from 1932 to 1976, but defected to the Republicans in 1980, 1984, 1988. Shows that they were plurality Democrats in the three-way presidential contest of 1992, although white Catholics and weekly church attenders were slightly less Democratic than non-whites and non-weekly church attenders. Catholics were solidly Democratic in House elections from 1932 to 1992. Thus, the 1994 results were somewhat shocking as Republicans captured 52 per cent of the Catholic vote, with an even higher 55 per cent among white Catholics. Evangelicals have been Republican in both presidential and House races since data have been collected from 1980. Underscores that non-white and weak church-attending Evangelicals voted Democratic, although the overall evangelical vote was 59 per cent Republican. In 1994, the evangelical vote was 20 per cent of the total vote and it registered its highest Republican percentage ever (75 per cent).
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Keywords: Politics; Religion; Usa

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1995

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