It is conventionally assumed that piety, especially of the Christian variety, tends to accompany relatively greater support for Republicans in the US. And among whites that is clearly the case. On the contrary, however, the more religious blacks are, the more likely and more strongly they are to identify as Democrats. Conversely, the less religious they are, the more likely they are to buck the wider black trend and identify as Republican.
Hail picked up on it, and the GSS affirms his insight. The following table shows black partisan affiliation by frequency of worship attendance. The higher the score, the more Democratically-inclined the group (a score of 3 represents perfect independence; anything over three indicates a Democratic leaning and anything under 3 indicates a Republican leaning). For contemporary relevance only responses from the year 2000 onward are included:
|Once a year at most||4.47|
|Multiple times per year but no more than monthly||4.62|
|Multiple times per month but not weekly||4.85|
|At least weekly||4.82|
The differences are modest, on the order of one-quarter of one standard deviation difference between the Democratic affinities of the least frequent and most frequent black churchgoers. The more remarkable fact is that religiosity 'pushes' whites in one direction and blacks in another. This knowledge makes the Fringe Coalition look even more susceptible to fissures and fractures in the future that it did before.
GSS variables used: RACECEN1(2), YEAR(2000-2012)