Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Religion and Minnesota Politics

Bookmark and Share

The relationship between religion and politics should fascinate even the most casual political observer. (In recent weeks religion has become an interesting sidebar in the 6th District US House race—a matter best saved for another blog entry).

Karl Rove—President George W. Bush's trusted political strategist in the White House—is credited with turning out the religious vote in 2004 to the benefit of not only Bush himself, but also republican candidates generally.

While sweeping statements are sometimes made regarding the fact there is a close association between the Republican Party and those expressing religious faith, by and large most Minnesotans—regardless of partisanship—are indeed 'god-fearing.' Nearly four-fifths (78%) of Minnesotans polled in 2003 indicated they "definitely believed" in God, while another 13% indicated they were leaning in that direction (Minnesota Poll, December 2003).

Therefore, although Minnesota tilts toward the blue end of the blue-red political spectrum, the majority of its card-carrying Democrats are indeed 'true believers'. What may separate Minnesota from the Bible belt is thus not belief in God, but the extent to which belief in God should inform public policy.

But are religious individuals more likely to vote in Minnesota than those that do not identify themselves with the world's major religions?

A study of several surveys by the Minnesota Poll suggests this might be so. In three surveys conducted from a sample of the general adult population from August 2002 to March 2004, an average of 31% of Minnesotans polled did not identify themselves as Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim (indicating they had no religious preference or labeled themselves as 'something else'). However, in five surveys conducted of likely voters between September and November 2004, this number dropped to 24%—or a decline of 23%.

While some folks are very passionate about their politics, one doubts they convert in greater numbers to God on Election Day. So—in general—Rove's strategy is sound in this regard: efforts to turn out voters to a point will increase the proportion of religious voters. The danger for Rove is this: if voter turnout is too large (and Minnesota has the highest in the nation), then that means those motivated to vote will be increasingly coming from the pool of nonbelievers (who are not Rove's desired demographic).

Previous post: Cable Television News Election Forecasts
Next post: MN-08: An Intriguing Matchup

1 Comment


  • LOLOL

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    Mary Burke: English First?

    While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


    Does My Key Still Work?

    Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting