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

    Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

    Political Crumbs

    Final Four Has Presidential Approval

    By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


    Three for the Road

    A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


    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