National Catholic Register

Daily News

Party Affiliation Linked to Church Attendance?

Gallup poll finds Republicans are more likely to attend religious services.

BY KEVIN J. JONES (CNA)

| Posted 11/9/11 at 6:08 PM

Shutterstock
 

Republicans are more likely to attend church than Democrats, while Catholics’ presence in both U.S. political parties has dropped slightly, a new Gallup poll says.

“Democrats remain less likely to attend church weekly and more likely to seldom or never attend church than the national average,” Gallup reported on Nov. 7.

About 52% of Democrats or those who lean Democrat seldom or never attend church, a Gallup survey from June-August 2011 found. This is an increase of 2% since a Gallup poll conduced in January-March of 2008. Although the 2008 poll found that 29% of this group said they attended weekly, in 2011 only 27% said the same.

Among Republicans or those who lean Republican, 38% say they seldom or never attend church — a 2% increase since the 2008 poll. Forty-three percent of this group reported weekly attendance in 2008, while only 40% reported the same in the latest survey.

“The slight two-point decrease in Democrats who attend church weekly is similar to the one-point decrease in the national adult sample,” Gallup said.

About 33% of respondents in 2011 said they attend church weekly, while 46% said they seldom or never attend.

The survey also reported a decline in Catholic representation.

In 2008, 26% of Democrats said they were Catholic, while 24% said the same in 2011. About 23% of Republicans in 2008 said they were Catholic, though 22% said so in 2011.

The 2008 poll also showed that 25% of U.S. adults identified as Catholic, while in 2011 only 23% did. The number of those with no religious preference grew from 12% to 15%.

About 19% of Democrats and those who lean toward the party in 2011 stated they have no religious preference, an increase from 15% in 2008. Republican leaners with no religious preference grew from 7% to 9%.

The Gallup poll used telephone interviews of random samples of more than 88,000 adults aged 18 and over. It claims a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.