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Political Choice MattersExplaining the Strength of Class and Religious Cleavages in Cross-National Perspective$
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Geoffrey Evans and Nan Dirk de Graaf

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199663996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199663996.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

The United States

The United States

Still the Politics of Diversity

(p.114) 5 The United States
Political Choice Matters

David L. Weakliem

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines changes in the relationship of class and religion to voting choices in the United States since the 1950s. It finds no support for the hypothesis of a general “blurring” of traditional class and religious differences. Rather, there have been shifts in the nature of both class and religious alignments. Parts of the middle class, specifically professionals and non-manual workers, have moved towards the Democrats relative to manual workers. Although some class differences have declined, the relationship between income and party has become stronger. Observant Catholics have moved towards the Republicans, while less observant Catholics continue to support the Democrats. In addition, there is a good deal of short-term variation in the position of class and religious groups. Changes in the ideological position of the parties account for some of the variation in alignments, but there are also some steady and gradual shifts that may reflect general social change.

Keywords:   social class, religion and politics, democratic and republican parties, voter turnout, ideology

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