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Religion-Based Voting Blocs

A long-standing finding in political science is the importance of social groups in shaping citizens’ attitudes and political behavior, and ultimately, influencing election outcomes. Groups whose members identifiably vote for or against a particular political party out of habit or because of strong concerns about an issue or cluster of issues identified with that political party are referred to as voting blocs. Voting blocs are essential to building winning electoral coalitions.

Religious groups have been core components of electoral coalitions since the founding era. According to historian Lee Benson, political conflict between religious groups was the most significant force shaping election dynamics between 1820 and the Great Depression. And with the notable exception of race, religion has been the most important and enduring social cleavage in ...

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