chapter  4
13 Pages

The Worship Attendance Gap

ByLaura R. Olson, John C. Green

As the 2004 presidential election approached, journalists paid a great dealof attention to what appeared to be a new political phenomenon: the “religion” or “God” gap. Americans who were most involved in religious life seemed especially likely to support Republican candidates at the polls and hold more conservative views, while those who were less involved in organized religion were more likely to vote Democratic and hold liberal views. As a typical news story put it, “Want to know how Americans will vote next Election Day? Watch what they do the weekend before. If they attend religious services regularly, they probably will vote Republican by a 2-1 margin. If they never go [to services], they likely will vote Democratic by a 2-1 margin.”1