The Washington Post

The politics of race and religion — in two pie charts

Republicans are the party of white evangelicals.  Democrats are the party of minorities and those without any traditional religious affiliation.

Stereotypes? Absolutely.  But, according to a study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life of all of the organization's polling so far in 2012, at least partially accurate -- if not entirely illustrative of the full face of either party.

Let's start on the Republican side.  Fully 87 percent of those who identify themselves as Republicans or Republican-leaners are white in 2012 Pew polling while just 5 percent are Hispanic and four percent are black.

When it comes to the religious affiliations of GOPers and GOP leaners, the largest bloc are white evangelical Protestants who comprise roughly one in every three Republicans (34 percent).  Here's the full GOP religious affiliation chart via Pew:

Now, for the Democrats.  As expected, the party is more racially diverse. Sixty-one percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners are white while 21 percent are black and 10 percent are Hispanic.

When it comes to religious affiliation, the biggest group of Democrats -- roughly one in every four -- identify as religiously unaffiliated. The next largest bloc are black Protestants who comprise 16 percent of all Democrats and Democratic leaners in Pew polling.

Here's the full breakout of Democratic religious affiliation by party ID:

What does the data tell us? Yes, white evangelical voters comprise a major bloc of registered Republican voters. And, yes, minorities and those with no religious affiliation are a major portion of the Democratic voting base.

Yet, neither white evangelicals nor religiously unaffiliated voters make up even close to a majority of the registered voters in their respective parties -- meaning that the stereotypes of the two parties are, not surprisingly, a bit overblown.

 

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says...
Rarely has the division between Trump and party elites been more apparent. Trump trashed one of the most revered families in Republican politics and made a bet that standing his ground is better than backing down. Drawing boos from the audience, Trump did not flinch. But whether he will be punished or rewarded by voters was the unanswerable question.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
Quoted
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

March 6: Democratic debate

on CNN, in Flint, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

the-fix

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.