I think this is starting to change in the younger generation. I don't think I have a single friend who actually believes in God but almost all of them are conservatives.The secular right has a lot of growing to do before it becomes a force in society. I wondered, though, how the association between active religiosity and political orientation might have changed over time in the US. Today, conservative politics and churchgoing are clearly correlated, as the proceeding table illustrates:
My impression is that the association is a relatively new one. Jimmy Carter, who has come to epitomize risible liberalism, was (and is) a devout Baptist who carried the bible belt on his way to the presidency in 1976. The following graph shows the percentages of conservative GSS respondents who regularly go to church (defined as attending services at least twice a month) compared to the percentages of the self-identified conservative general population over the same period of time. To avoid racial confounding, only whites are considered:
Extending back to Carter's election, regular churchgoers have tended to be more conservative than the general population has been, but the distinction remained pretty trivial through the eighties. It has grown considerably over the last couple of decades, alongside the perception that churchgoing is a red state thing.
GSS variables used: YEAR, RACE(1), ATTEND(5-8), POLVIEWS(1-2)(5-6)