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.
This week’s Graphic of the Week asks if football has replaced baseball as America’s national sport. A majority of Americans (55%) say that football has pulled ahead with the strongest supporters being southerners (63%), Blacks (69%), and millennials (64%). Northeasterners are the least likely to believe that baseball has been replaced by football, an unsurprising outlier given the high concentration of incredibly popular baseball teams in this region.