The Party Faithful

John C. Green

in The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199542628
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

The Party Faithful

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  • US Politics
  • Political Behaviour



This article discusses the religious elements of the major party coalitions in the American public. It first addresses why religion is relevant to party politics at a conceptual level. The religious character of the major party coalitions is summarized. The article considers the recent party coalitions, comparing the Democratic and Republican faith-based supporters in 1952 and 2008. It finally describes the ‘party faithful’ in the early years of the twenty-first century. The comparison of 1952 and 2008 reveals that faith-based coalitions can change, and quite dramatically, over relatively short periods of time. The present ethno-theological politics could continue, with deepening divisions based on religious observance. A return to ethno-religious politics, with divisions based on religious affiliation, is becoming more important. It is possible that a new aspect of religion will become politicized in much the same way that religious observance became politically relevant in recent times.

Keywords: party coalitions; American public; religion; party faithful; Democratic party; Republican party; religious affiliation

Article.  7965 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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