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.
Would you be surprised to learn that “God bless America” isn’t a standard closing for official speeches by U.S. presidents? In fact, the phrase wasn’t publicly used by a president until 1973 when Richard Nixon appealed to the American public in the face of the escalating Watergate scandal, according to the new book profiled by Huffington Post, The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America.
The bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration has released a report encouraging jurisdictions across the country to cut down on long lines at polls on Election Day by expanding early voting, increasing online voter registration, and checking voter registration lists against those provided by other states.
PRRI Research Director Daniel Cox explores the role that the GOP’s close association with the Christian Right may have played among American Jews in the 2012 election:
Affiliated Scholar Paul A. Djupe explores data which sheds light on the level of racial resentment toward Obama among white Americans.
In the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama, analysts have noted that the Republican nominee lost in large measure due to changing American demographics—particularly the rise of the Latino vote, non-white Christians, and the religiously unaffiliated. But another demographic trend also threatens to hurt Republican chances in the future: the decline of marriage.
Just before the 2012 election, Dr. Robert P. Jones joined Fox5 anchor Brian Bolter to discuss the role of religion in the 2012 election.
Just before the 2012 election, Dr. Robert P. Jones was interviewed by Religion & Politics’ Tiffany Stanley, who asked several important questions about what Dr. Jones will be looking for in the post-election data.
California voters are at the center of one particularly heated debate: on November 6, they will have the opportunity to decide whether the death penalty should be abolished in their state, after being restored three decades ago.
An exploration of the unaffiliated vote since 1980s shows two interesting features: first, the Democratic advantage among this group is not a recent phenomenon but stretches back at least as far as 1984, and second, that unaffiliated voters display unusually robust support for third-party and independent candidates.
In the wake of Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s controversial comments about rape and God’s will, Dr. Robert P. Jones explores how religious Americans reconcile their theological convictions with public policy.