'God Gap' Between Democrats and Republicans Growing, Research Reveals
By Grace Oshiro - Crossmap On June 22, 2012
While Democrats and Republicans have grown more homogeneous in many aspects, a growing religious divide between these two parties has been evidenced by a new report by Pew Research Center.
A split referred to as the "God gap" shows that while those who often attend religious services have been more likely to vote Republican while those who do so less frequently or the nonreligious more likely to mote for Democrats.
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The overview for the recent "Trends in American Values: 1987-2012" revealed that Americans are showing "more polarized values and basic beliefs along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years."
"Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides, " states the report.
Especially to the questions relevant to religion, Democrats showed a big drop in those who answered, "never doubt the existence of God," from 88% in 2002 to 77% currently.
By contrast, Republicans maintained the same points about the same question, 92%, as it was a decade ago.
White Democrats revealed a more substantial decrease of "never doubt the existence of God" - from 85% in 2002 to 68% in 2012.
When it comes to the question on family issues, Democrats revealed, again, a big drop of a percentage in those who "have old-fashioned values about family and marriage," from 86% in 1987 to 60% in 2012. For Republicans, 88% answered that they agree with the old values for families, which turns out to be only 4 % of decrease from 1987 survey.
"From 1987 through the end of the 1990s Republicans and Democrats expressed roughly equal levels of religious commitment. But since then, Republican commitment has held steady, while a declining majority of Democrats hold traditional religious views. The trend away from religion has become substantial among liberal Democrats in particular," says the report.
The growing "God gap" is one of few increasing differences between the two parties, and is seen as the result of Democrats' shift toward secularism.