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?
Poetry is born in unexpected places, especially during an election campaign.
Prominent black clergy in Maryland are supporting a referendum in their state to legalize same-sex marriage. Black voters overall are divided on the issue, but Dr. Robert P. Jones notes that black voters are unlikely to abandon Obama over his support for the issue.
A new book chronicles the rise of the handgun in America, and may even (according to one journalist) get you to reconsider your position in the debate over gun control. More than 4-in-10 (43%) Americans say they live in a household with a gun.
Is the Democrats’ “war on women” a smart way to target women voters in the upcoming election? Of course, the answer is more complicated than one might assume. PRRI Affiliated Scholar Melissa Deckman has more.
A new Brookings Institution report finds that children born to rich families have a 75% chance of being middle or higher-income by the time they reach their 40s. For children born to poor families, the chance is just 40%.
Political science professor Larry Bartels writes that although undecided voters were moving towards Romney earlier this summer, more recently undecideds have begun favoring Obama. For those of you who have never met an undecided voter, Saturday Night Life takes a look at the important questions undecided voters are asking.
Ronald Brownstein at National Journal suggests that if Romney loses in November it will not because of tactical misfires or gaffes but strategic choices made much earlier in the campaign.