In Depth

It turns out that religion and politics do mix – especially for Republicans

Religion and politics often do go together, a new Gallup Poll finds.

The survey, released Friday, showed “religion remains intertwined with political self-identification,” according to a Gallup editor in chief, Frank Newport, in his poll analysis.

The poll found religiosity continued in 2016 to significantly correlate with partisan identification.”

Fifty-one percent of Republicans said this year that they were highly religious. The finding was based on a combination of their self-reported attendance at religious services and importance of religion in their lives. Another 29 percent of Republicans said they were moderately religious.

One-third of Democrats and independents said they were highly religious, while 30 percent said they were moderately religious.

Among those who regard themselves as not religious, 20 percent were Republicans, while 37 percent were independents or Democrats.

Exit poll data found that 55 percent of those attending services weekly and 49 percent of those attending monthly – about half of all voters – voted for President-elect Donald Trump.

Overall, Newport said, 2016 saw a “leveling off in downward trends in church attendance, the importance of religion and the perception that religion is losing influence in society.”

Its analysis said this could be a short-term or more lasting trend. About 8 in 10 Americans identify with a religion.

“Demographics in a broad sense could predict an uptick in religiosity if the same historical patterns continue to hold,” Newport wrote. “Large numbers of baby boomers and millennials are entering the age ranges in which religiosity has traditionally been higher. But these patterns may change, and it will take years of data collection to determine if formal religiosity will continue to decrease or level off.”

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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