Navigation Links
New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
Date:9/23/2008

The way the evangelical movement is defined has profound implications for where evangelicals fit into the political spectrum, according to a study by sociologists at Rice University and the University of Texas-Austin.

"In this election year, there is much debate over whether Sen. Obama can shave off enough evangelical votes to carry certain swing states, said Rice's D. Michael Lindsay, one of the researchers. "That depends a great deal on which poll you are looking at and, more importantly, how the survey defines the evangelical population."

For instance, the study found, "If one uses beliefs on religious issues (such as whether Satan exists) to define evangelicals, they will be noticeably more conservative in political outlook than if one uses self-classifications by the individual to define the group."

The study, "Measuring Evangelicalism: Consequences of Different Operationalization Strategies," was co-authored by Lindsay and Conrad Hackett, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas-Austin, and appears in this month's Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

There are three distinct ways national poll organizations define evangelicals:

  1. Denominational affiliation, as is done in the General Social Survey
  2. Self-classification ("Would you call yourself an evangelical, or born-again, Christian?), as is done in surveys from the Gallup Organization and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
  3. Beliefs on specific religious issues, as is done by the Barna Research Group

To prove their point, Lindsay and Hackett used a single set of survey data, the 1998 General Social Survey, which included questions using all three ways of defining evangelicals.

They found that depending on how one defines an evangelical using this data, the percentage varies 10 percentage points.

Method of defining an evangelical Percentage that are Republican
Denominational affiliation 59
Self-classification 53
Beliefs on specific religious issues 63

Since this is an election year, the most interesting finding relates to the percentage of evangelicals who lean toward being or are strong Republicans.

"Evangelicals continue to be the most organized constituency of the Republican Party," Lindsay said. "However, Democrats have made unprecedented efforts to woo religious voters. They won't win the votes of all evangelicals, but in a tight election year, they don't have to -- only a few are needed. The perception over whether evangelicals are remaining loyal Republicans or are leaning Democratic depends, in great measure, on which survey is being cited. Evangelicals are the most discussed but least defined population among the American electorate."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
2. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
3. New study offers solution to global fisheries collapse
4. St. Jude study gives new insights into how cells accessorize their proteins
5. Duke to lead new NSF, EPA center to study the environmental implications of nanotechnology
6. NSF funds multi-university center to study environmental implications of nanotechnology
7. Study finds ATV guidelines inadequate
8. Flatworm helps researchers study stem cells and cancer
9. Study reveals how viruses collectively decide the fate of a bacterial cell
10. UC Riverside botanist to study role of plants in southern Californias drought
11. Book breaks new ground in the study of economics and forest threats management
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... April 6, 2017 Forecasts by ... Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & ... Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, ... Are you looking for a definitive report ... ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Pittcon is pleased to once ... scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by the Pittcon 2018 program chair, Annette ... Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ionization processes, high throughput IMS-MS technologies, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Coffea arabica ... biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants will learn about the ... as gain a better understanding of how genomics is important for coffee breeding ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the one-day ... on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , Returning ... and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers in ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, ... Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin will allow ...
Breaking Biology Technology: