Catholic partisan identification
This thesis examines data from the National Election Studies in order to assess the significant determinants of the political behavior of Catholics in the American electorate. A complex array of variables including religious commitment, generational differences, social status, and policy attitudes account for limited change in partisan alignment among American Catholics. The analyses expose the long-term, durable nature of partisan attachment, as older generation Catholics who register as actively committed to their religion also remain committed Democrats. Therefore, older Catholics have not been part of the broader ideological realignment which has taken place among other religious adherents, namely evangelical and mainline Protestants. Younger Catholics are significantly more apt to become Republican in their partisan identification than were their parents.Comparing the effects of an array of policy attitudes and socio-demographic variables between Catholic and Protestants illuminates the differences and similarities among these religious groups. What emerges is a consistent pattern demonstrating an ideological realignment within the American electorate. This research adds to the ideological realignment thesis by showing how religious commitment is the driving force behind this realignment. In addition, this thesis presents evidence illustrating that younger Catholics and committed Catholics will continue to move toward Republican partisan identification and that the traditional allegiance of Catholic voters to the Democratic party will continue to decline.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Muro, Christopher Vincent,, "Explaining Partisan Change Among Catholics In The American Electorate" (2004). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 144.