Dr. Melissa Deckman is a Professor of Political Science at Washington College and a PRRI Affiliated Scholar. Her research interests center on the intersection of religion, women, and politics. She has written in the past about the Christian Right’s participation in school board politics. Her most recent work is as co-editor and contributor to Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools. PRRI sat down with Dr. Deckman to discuss the significance of the book.
In a column for Huffington Post Politics, I lay out a significant challenge for the Republican Party: the gap between Millennials (age 18-29) and white evangelical Protestants on controversial issues like same-sex marriage. In the piece, I argue that the GOP will have a difficult time striking an effective balance between the views of Millennials and evangelical Protestants on these issues, although they will have to appeal to both in order to find electoral success:
One of the most significant challenges facing the GOP can be reduced to just two nearly identical numbers: 72% and 71%. According to a recent PRRI/Brookings survey, 72% of Millennials (Americans age 18 to 29) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, while a nearly identical number (71%) of white evangelical Protestants oppose same-sex marriage. Millennials are among the strongest supporters of same-sex marriage, while white evangelicals remain the issue’s most ardent opponents. In 2016, the GOP nominee will face a serious coalition management challenge, since the party needs the votes of both groups.
Read the full column online here.