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date: 24 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the religious elements of the major party coalitions in the American public. It first addresses why religion is relevant to party politics at a conceptual level. The religious character of the major party coalitions is summarized. The article considers the recent party coalitions, comparing the Democratic and Republican faith-based supporters in 1952 and 2008. It finally describes the ‘party faithful’ in the early years of the twenty-first century. The comparison of 1952 and 2008 reveals that faith-based coalitions can change, and quite dramatically, over relatively short periods of time. The present ethno-theological politics could continue, with deepening divisions based on religious observance. A return to ethno-religious politics, with divisions based on religious affiliation, is becoming more important. It is possible that a new aspect of religion will become politicized in much the same way that religious observance became politically relevant in recent times.

Keywords: party coalitions, American public, religion, party faithful, Democratic party, Republican party, religious affiliation

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