Mark A. Smith is professor of Political Science and an adjunct professor of Comparative Religion and Communication at the University of Washington. His research focuses on economic and religious groups, ideas, and influences in American politics. In his new book, Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics, Dr. Smith argues that religion is not nearly the unchanging conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is and is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values rather than shaping them.
Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers?
Yesterday, President Obama told the graduating class of Barnard College that it was up to them, as young women, to “to stand up and be heard, to write, to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote.” Obama has, over the course of the year, been courting young female voters, who are an increasingly important voting bloc.
Meanwhile, a new SuperPAC hopes to woo young voters to the Republicans’ side. Both campaigns have some work to do among this cohort (many of whom have never voted in a presidential election before). Obama, however, currently leads Romney among young Millennial voters (49% to 35%).
The Tea Party is back and looking toward a handful of Senate races to “shake up” the Republican party.
Pat Robertson endorsed Mitt Romney, noting that he is not Jesus (an astute observation), but implying that conservatives need someone to run against Obama. Last fall, Robertson gave Romney another small boost, when he called him an “outstanding Christian.”