Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Rightwing Group Slander Of Liberals Refuted—Part 4

This is part of a series devoted to refuting the rightwing narrative slandering liberals as an alien force in American politics, not just out of touch with the American mainstream, but downright hostile to it. I began [part 1] by laying out the big-picture argument [links to previous parts at end of diary]:
  1. It’s not liberals, but ultra-conservative movement conservatives who are far outside America’s mainstream, based on data from the General Social Survey.
  2. This data shows that liberals and conservatives have significantly more overlap than disagreement across a range of controversial social issues, as well as national spending priorities.
  3. On the other hand, those wanting to downsize the welfare state represent only a small minority—even among self-described conservatives.

In part 2, I examined the data on spending. Part 3 highlighted the impact of race in driving the growth of conservative Republicans, particularly in the South, as a prelude to examining social wedge issues. This part is a previously unplanned look at the role religion played in that shift. It’s got some surprises. And more numbers than a campaign.

The Story So Far

This part represents an unplanned departure from my script. My first part laid out the big-picture argument. My second looked at spending, and the third looked at the role of race as a social wedge issue in altering the pattern of political identification—both in terms of party and ideology. The historical data from the General Social Survey (GSS) is quite clear, and mirrors the shift of the “Solid South” from solid Democratic to solid Republicans. The percentage of conservative Republicans has doubled in the white South from the 1972-1984 time-frame to the 1994-2004 time-frame: from 11.8% to 23.6%, while moderate Republicans gained 40%, from 7.5% to 10.5%, and liberal Republicans slipped slightly, from 3.7% to 3.2%. At the same time, outside the white South, the gains were far more modest, from 11.0% to 14.7%--and over half that 3.7% gain was offset by losses to moderate and liberal Republicans, totaling 1.9%.

Here, I'm taking a closer look at how religion figured in this process as sociological force. This does less to change the story than it does to add nuance and prevent the story from being hijacked. The complexity of cross-cutting trends is yet another warning against simplistic narratives and talking point explanations.

In the comments to Part 3, johnsonwax said:
I think the key to the numbers above

is realizing that it's not a zero-sum game. Many of those southern conservatives did not exist in the statistics in previous years. The religious right was ignored by both parties until Reagan and the religious right ignored the parties. It's a huge voter base that one party recognized and swallowed up whole. The Dems have largely focused on young voters, but that's not nearly as exclusive a set as the religious right.
This is not really a rightwing narrative, it’s part of the general conventional wisdom. And I deflected it somewhat, but didn’t challenge it in my response, Good Point, But... :
You make a very good point, but it's not the major thing we see going on here. This is not the electorate we are looking at here, but the American people as a whole. So the politicization of fundamentalists and evangelicals--those who were truly apolitical before--would not show up very clearly...

Does this mean that the effect you're talking about was negligiable? No, not at all. I think it was substantial. But I think it was overwhelmed by the shift out of the Democratic Party due to race. I also think that a lot of the impact of the religious right was not just to mobilize the formerly apolitical or marginally political, but to cement the effects of race among the Southern conservatives and moderates who left the Dems over race--and to raise their level of participation. (Remember, in the Democratic Solid South, it didn't even matter if they never voted!)

This analysis is somewhat speculative on my part, since I hadn't examined the data that could confirm it. I'm just reasoning from the data above.
Well, now I’ve looked at it, it looks like I maybe overstated it. Let’s say the impact in increasing voting by fundamentalists was “significant,” but “substantial” may be pushing it. Yes, there was an increase in fundamentalists voting. But the impact of that was entirely secondary compared to shifts in voting patterns—and the vast majority of those were already voting. The most important factors are (1) whether or not we’re talking about white Southerners, (2) the changing voting patterns of theological fundamentalists, moderates and liberals, and (3) how often they go to church.

Prelude: The White South vs. The Rest of Us

I’m not going to present a lot of analysis here. You’ll get more than enough below. I just want to present two sets of charts, showing the relative political power of conservative Republicans in the white South and outside it. First the white South:

Among regular churchgoers, conservative Republicans are the green line, streaking up into the stratosphere, while all the other lines converge into a relatively narrow range, far below. Among all white Southerners, the pattern is similar, though less extreme. Now let’s look at the rest of America:

Among regular churchgoers, conservative Republicans again break out of the pack to a position of clear numerical superiority. But the growth trajectory slows considerably from the second time-frame to the third. Its degree of dominance is considerably smaller. Among the whole non-white-Southern population, conservative Republicans aren’t even the largest group, much less the dominant one. What’s more, their growth hasn’t just slowed since the second time frame—its reversed itself into a decline.

This is what the two Americas look like in terms of religion—the white South, dominated by avidly church-going conservative Republicans, and the rest of us, dominated by no one.

And now, let the slice-and-dice begin.

Church-Goers Vote More Often

First, let’s look at a fairly dramatic chart. It shows how the percentage of voters rises steadily and dramatically with church attendance among Southern whites, in every time period. Indeed, those who never attend church vote less than 50% of time:

The figures are less dramatic outside the white South. One reason we would expect this is that voting is related to how well integrated people are into social and institutional networks that make up what’s commonly called “civil society,” and the South has relatively little of civil society outside of the church, and church-related institutions. The North and the West have many more non-church forms of public participation for people to be civically engaged in. As the following chart shows, those who never go to church outside the white South voted 5.8% above white Southerners for the whole time period. For regular churchgoers—almost weekly or more often—the gap falls to 1.4%, less than a quarter of the gap for non-church-goers.
This also demonstrates yet another way in which Pat Robertson & company are mistaken. Their fear-mongering about secular humanism—which he and others like him often falsely label as a religion—taking over the country is the complete reverse of what the data shows. Not only are their no secular humanist churches, but those who don’t attend them vote significantly less often than regular church-goers do. In fact, the most noticeable increase in voting percentage occurred among white Southern regular churchgoers—Robertson’s core audience. Their voting percentage increased from 71.7% in the first time-frame to 77% in the second time-frame, and 78.1% in the third time-frame. (These gains were offset, however, by declines in churchgoing, as we’ll see below.)

This series was originally inspired in response to the argument that liberal dominance of the Democratic Party with anti-mainstream values (including secularism) was responsible for propelling conservatives out of the party and into the GOP. This is a popular narrative on the right, promoted by a few high-profile figures, such as Ronald Reagan, in the 50s and early 60s. In fact, the opposite was the case.

There was a modest white exodus from the party at this time, primarily due to growing affluence that resulted directly from unionization, the GI Bill, federally-subsidized suburbanization and the like—all products of the Democratic New Deal. People left the Democratic Party because it made them so affluent that they started to feel like Republicans.

The Democratic Party did not “leave” anyone until it firmly embraced civil rights with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And the loss of the Democratic “Solid South” is proof positive that the leaving was all about race. The notion that other, later factors were important—that secular humanists had taken over the Democrats, for example—is all part of the narrative to hide the central role of racism in building the modern conservative movement. The low rates of voting among non-church-goers is yet another piece of hard data that directly contradicts the movement conservative narrative.

Changing Patterns Among Theological Orientations

A comment about the increased participation of fundamentalists was the spark that touched off this diary. But far more important has been the shifting patterns of voting among fundamentalists as well as those with other theological orientations. One look at the flip-flop in fundamentalist party ID should be enough to make that point:

Fundamentalists went from 55.3% Dem/31.8% Rep to 32.8% Dem/51.1% Rep. This 41.8%+ swing was clearly far more important than any increase in the number of fundamentalist voters. After all, as long as Democrats got more of those voters, additional voters helped them. It was not the additional voters, but who they were voting for that mattered.

Moderates and liberals also roughly flip-flopped, but with less extreme results: 31.1% among theological moderates, and 17.2% among theological liberals, who started off as the most pro-Republican, and ended up as the most pro-Democratic.

Outside the white South—due, in part to black Protestants—the picture is significantly different. There have been shifts, to be sure, but no flips. In fact, among theological liberals, the shift was towards the Democrats. The Democrats remain a majority among all three theological orientations:

The biggest shift was amongst fundamentalists—20.5% toward the Republicans, just under half of their gain in the white South. But the GOP would need another comparable shift, just to draw even in this group. The shift amongst theological moderates was 12.5%, and again, the GOP would need another shift of this magnitude to draw even. Among theological liberals, Democrats gained 7.6%, and the balance there is almost identical to what it is amongst fundamentalists.

But most tellingly, perhaps, the GOP lost ground among all three orientations between the second and third time frames. Indeed, Democrats had even lost ground amongst theological liberals between the first and second time frames—7.5% to be precise. But they came roaring back to gain just more than twice that in the next time frame, to end up with a net 7.6% gain. This same picture will show up however we slice the data: Democrats lost ground everywhere from 1972-1984 to 1985-1993, but then came back outside the white South, with varying strength across a wide range of different groups.

Churchgoing in Decline

As the following table shows, regular church attendance is in decline, while the number of non-churchgoers grows:
The decline is actually sharper in the white South: In absolute percentage (the percentage of the population in each category, not the percent change) regular attendance is down 5.5%, compared to 4.7% in the rest of country. Frequent attendance is also down 1.0%, compared to a 0.9% increase in the rest of the country. The pattern was reversed with rare churchgoing: up 1.5% in the white South, down 1.0% in the rest of America. The percentage of non-churchgoers rose 4.9% in the white South and 4.7% outside it.

The story in terms of percent change (not shown) sounds even more dramatic: In the white South, regular attendance is down 14.0%, compared to 13.4% in the rest of country. Frequent attendance is also down 6.0%, compared to a 5.8% increase in the rest of the country. Rare churchgoing: up 4.5% in the white South, down 2.8% in the rest of America. Non-churchgoing rose 45.0% in the white South and 34.0% outside it.

These declines are only part of a larger picture, however. A July 20, 2004 press release from NORC (which conducts the GSS), “America’s Protestant Majority is Fading NORC Research Shows” stated:
The increasing secularization of American society has taken a particular toll on Protestant identity, presenting the prospect that after more than 200 years of history, the United States may soon no longer be a majority Protestant country, according to a new study by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

The percentage of the population that is Protestant has been falling and will likely fall below 50 percent by mid-decade and may be there already, the research reported.

From 1972 until 1993 the Protestant share of the population remained stable. But then a decline set in. In 1993, 63 percent of Americans were Protestant, but by 2002, the number was 52 percent, NORC research found. During the same time, the number of people who said they had no religion went up from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent....

The survey shows a continual erosion on many measures for Protestants in the past generation, while the proportion of people who say they are Catholic has remained fairly steady at about 25 percent of the population. People who said they belonged to other religions, including Eastern faiths and Islam, Orthodox Christians, interdenominational Christians, and native-American faiths increased from 3 percent to 7.

Because of this sharp decline from 1993 onward, the figures from the third timeframe surely understate the declines in churchgoing as of today.

These declines took their toll in the voting booth as well:
Regular churchgoers declined as a percentage of the electorate, both in the white South (45.6% to 40.3%) and in the rest of the country (40.1%to 34.9%). As noted above, there was an increase in voting among regular churchgoers in the white South, but this was more than offset by the decline in their numbers, relative to the population as a whole. What we have seen within that overall decline is a net shift from regular mainline church attendance to regular fundamentalist and evangelical churches. The racist shift I wrote about last time is facilitated by that shift. It’s not that these churches were openly racist—a handful were, but the vast majority were not. Rather, they were simply unconcerned with the social justice dimension of the Gospels—a dimension that figured prominently among mainline denominations. Typically, when they do profess concern, they express it in terms of charity, not justice.

It was, after all, the mainline churches that formed the strongest institutional support for the civil rights movement in the white community, second only to the more progressive unions, most notably the UAW under Walter Ruether. Both the churches and the unions, however, had significant resistance amongst their memberships. And both lost significant membership during the periods covered by these surveys, although for different reasons. Nonetheless, the end result is a decline in social and political infrastructure supporting racial equality, and egalitarianism in general.

Compensating for these declines is a vital need for progressive politics, one that is commonly ignored. The reason is simple: it has low immediate payoff. But the long-term benefits are enormous, as correlation between church-going and voting suggests.

Church Attendance Vs. Orientation

There are two different trends in voting. First, as noted above, church attendance correlates with increased voting. Second, the more liberal one’s theological orientation (fundamentalist, moderate, liberal), the more likely one is to vote. There’s one more trend that matters here: The more conservatives one’s theological orientation, the more likely one is to attend church more often. This last, church-attendance trend works against the second voting trend. The way the two interact can be seen in the following table:
(This table comes with a major caveat: in 1984, the GSS refined the way it coded denominations—which in turn refined the assignment of respondents’ theological orientation. The survey has never attempted to ask about orientation directly, instead relying on that of the denomination named. So even the post 1984 data has some unknown amount of assignment error. That’s one reason I’m not going to devote my most intensive analysis to this data. The conclusions I will draw are based on broad patterns that we can be confident of because they show up so consistently. I’m staying away from fine distinctions were the assignment errors might play a significant role. Just to be on the safe side, I discussed this briefly on Friday with Tom W. Smith, Director of NORC's General Social Survey. There is reason to believe that voting participation data is relatively comparable pre-and post-1984.)

At every attendance level during every time frame, theological liberals voted at higher rates than fundamentalists, from an astonishing high 22.1% to a low of 8.4%. This shows the higher rates of voting amongst theological liberals at similar levels of church attendance. The total difference is shown in the unweighted average for each time frame. It takes no account of the attendance differences. But the higher rates of church attendance amongst fundamentalists offsets this considerably. The result is shown on the last (“total”) line in each time frame, where the liberal-fundamentalist difference is consistently smaller than the unweighted average, by roughly around seven or eight percent.

Although the comparisons to the first time frame are inexact, because of the recoding GSS did in 1984 to capture more specific information on denominations, we can see that (1) the trend is clearly toward reducing the gap in voting rates, but (2) a gap still remains. It’s the attendance gap and the growth of fundamentalism more generally that are more significant, however. If theological liberals attended church as often as their fundamentalist brethren, and voted accordingly, the voting gap from 1994 to 2004 would have been more three times what it was—10.7% rather than 3.1%. Among other things, Al Gore would have unambiguously won the Presidential election in 2000.

Church Attendance And Political Identity: Parties First

With all the above in mind, let us turn to less ambiguous data for our refined analysis. This involves church attendance and political identity. Following the earlier data, showing that the white South has lead the shift toward conservative Republicanism, we examine the white South first. We begin by looking at party ID and church attendance. Below we’ll break that down further into liberals, moderates and conservatives within each party ID.
This table above reveals a very interesting pattern. In the first time frame, Democratic dominance was still in place, at least as far as party ID was concerned. Democratic identification hovered around 40% for all four categories of church attendance. Republicans and independents split the remainder, which was almost 50/50 among regular church-goers, with Republicans losing strength fairly evenly to fall 10.2% among non-churchgoers, where they trail independents by a 5-2 margin.

In the second time frame, Democratic support had dropped over 12 points, but was even more consistent, hovering around 28% of the vote. Meanwhile, the Republican skew toward regular churchgoers had more than doubled: Republicans took 46.4% of regular church-goers compared to just 24.2% of those who never attend—a 22.2% gap.

We find a surprisingly similar pattern to begin with in the rest of the country, with a much more modest pattern of change:
Again, we start out with the Democrats taking roughly 40% across the board, with slightly more variance than in the South. Republicans and independents split the remainder with the same pattern seen in the South. They start off even closer to 50/50 among regular church-goers, and the Republicans again drop almost 10 percent (9.8% to be precise) and trail independents by a little over 5-2.

Outside the white South, the changes follow a similar pattern—a broad Democratic decline matched with Republican gains centered on regular church-goers—but the magnitudes are so much smaller that end result looks entirely different.

The Democrats drop only about three points overall, dropping most among regular church-goers, least among frequent church-goers, and roughly the same three point drop among the rest. As a result, they outnumber Republicans at every level of church attendance—something they only did for non-church-goers in the South. They outnumber Republicans among regular church-goers by 6.3%, compared to being outnumbered in the South by almost three times as much—18.6%. In addition, they hold a massive 20.2% margin among frequent church-goers.

The reason for this is clear: The Republicans picked up 4.1% among regular church-goers, but could only manage one other increase larger than 1%--a pickup of 2.5% among rare church-goers. In fact, they actually lost ground in every category since the 1985-1993 time frame—from a 2.3% decline in frequent church-goers to a 5.1% decline in rare church-goers. If these had been increases on top the pervious ones, the story would have been quite different. As it is, this is not the picture of a growing majority party. It is the picture of a declining national party, buoyed by a still-growing regional base.

With that in mind, we turn to the combined national picture:
The only group that the Republicans lead among are the most regular voters—but only by 1.2%. In contrast, they trail in two other categories by double digits, and in a third by over 8%. They are in much better shape than they were in 1972-1984, but they are going backwards in three categories, and are virtually stalled in their strong suit—regular church-goers. Again, this is not the picture of a growing national party. It’s the picture of one that has peaked. Of course, this is no guarantee of Democratic success. It merely indicates that Democrats have a real opening. Their fate is in their own hands.

Church Attendance And Political Identity: Party-Ideology Groups

The fate of the parties is the big picture. But the theme of this series is ideological as well as partisan. And so we turn to the finer-mesh picture we get from examining church attendance and political identity—defined as the combination of ideology and party ID:
In raw percentages, the biggest gains were by conservative Republicans among regular attendees (18.6%) and frequent attendees (12.4%). However, the next figure is a bit of a surprise: Conservative Republicans gain more (8.7%) among non-attendees than among rare attendees (7.8%). There are now more white conservative Republicans who don’t go to church in the South (14.6% of all non-church-goers) than there are liberal Democrats (13.1%). Still, this remains the only group in which conservative Republicans aren’t the most numerous group. They’re only #2, behind moderate independents (19.2%). The gain among non-church-goers reflects the fact that racial politics cuts across all the white South.

The only other group to gain ground among all four groups is the moderate Republicans, though in two cases their modest gains come after giving back a lot of gains they earned in the second time frame. Among regular church-goers, they gained 3.6% from the first to the second time frame, only to drop 2.2% back to 9.8%. At the other extreme, among non-church-goers, they jumped from 6.5% up to 7.3%, only to tumble back down to 6.6%. It’s only among the rare attendees (up 5.8% to 12.4%) and frequent attendees (up 3.2% to 12.1%) that moderate Republicans gained ground twice in a row, and significantly improved their standing.

The only other group to gain ground more times than it lost was liberal Democrats, on the other extreme. They gained 1% each among non-churchgoers (up to 13.1%) and frequent churchgoers (up to 9.2%). They broke even on rare churchgoers and lost ground among regular churchgoers (down 3.2% to 6.4%).

In between these two extremes were two sets of three groups with similar patterns. One set—moderate and conservative Democrats and liberal independents—lost ground in all four groups. They were the biggest overall losers. Collectively, they lost 17.2% among non-churchgoers, 14.6% among rare churchgoers and frequent churchgoers, and 14.1% among regular churchgoers. The other set—moderate and conservative independents and liberal Republicans—lost ground twice. One—the moderate independents—gained ground twice, while the other two gained ground once and broke even once. Collectively, they pretty much broke even. They gained 7% among non-churchgoers and 1% among rare churchgoers. They lost 3.1% among frequent churchgoers and 2.8% among regular churchgoers.

In the rest of the country, things looked very different, as the following table shows:
Among regular churchgoers, conservative Republicans made large gains—up from 14.1% to 22%, in first place by more than 6%. But that gain of 7.9% came at the expense of a 3.8% loss among liberal and conservative Republicans. In every other category liberal democrats took a larger share—as did moderate Democrats. They came in fourth among frequent churchgoers, fifth among rare churchgoers, and sixth among non-churchgoers.

In short, what we’re seeing is pretty much the same thing we saw from a slightly different angle before: the growth of conservative Republicans among regular churchgoers is both more modest than in the South, and lacks broader resonance. Indeed, almost half the growth comes at the expense of less conservative Republicans.

When we look at America as a whole, the white South pattern is submerged, and resulting pattern looks more like the pattern seen among minorities and non-Southern whites:
Conservative Republicans post strong gains among regular churchgoers, but partly at the expense of other Republicans. Although they make gains among all other attendance groups, they do not dominate any of them, coming in second among frequent churchgoers, third among rare churchgoers and sixth among non-churchgoers. Other Republicans fare worse: Moderate Republicans lose ground among frequent churchgoers as well as regulars, while liberal Republicans lose ground in all four attendance groups.

In all groups except regular churchgoers, liberal Democrats made modest gains, and liberal plus moderate Democrats combined outnumbered conservative and moderate Republicans combined.

A Broader View

All the above data are consistent with my original thesis—that the driving force behind political polarization is racial politics. It has taken a long time to set in at the level of political self-identification, thus cementing Republican power in the white South. But it was evident long before in presidential voting, as noted in the previous installment. Liberal activism around social issues—such as women’s rights and gay rights—were natural outgrowths of the civil rights movement. Likewise, conservative opposition to them was an outgrowth of opposition to the civil rights movement, and the GOP’s use of them as wedge issues to split the Democratic base has become a defining characteristic of American politics over the past 30-40 years.

The conservative narrative blames liberals for creating the current climate of polarization. It denies its racists roots, as well as its own pro-active role in fomenting resentment and social divisions. Instead of race, it points to issue like abortion and gay marriage. Yet, as I’m about to demonstrate in my next installments, the issue-by-issue attitudes on wedge issues are nowhere near as polarized as our political narratives suggest. The 72% gap between liberals and conservatives in the 2004 presidential vote cannot be found in any issue area, even for the most contentious of specific questions. To understand this systemic polarization, we have to look beyond issues to framing narratives, and beyond the narratives to the larger political system that generates them, and the social system of which it is part.

That will come at the end of the series. For now, we can simply conclude that religion reflects a divided America. The white South is increasingly dominated by church-going conservative Republicans. The rest of the country remains far more balanced in its views. It remains a place for dialogue—if we stand up for it.

Reactionary movement conservatives have been trying to convince us that the South is a model for all America, and lectures from the pulpit are the prototype for all political speech. But the data we’ve looked at shows that’s just not true. The successes of Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas and Brian Schweitzer in Montana are not flukes. They reflect the fact that slaveholders were defeated in Bloody Kansas in the 1850s, and never got anywhere near Montana.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Robert D Feinman said...

There have been some studies which seem to indicate that the reported church attendance is overstated. The accepted figure is about 40%; this is the self-reported number based upon surveys of people's behavior.

Studies which use attendance figures from the churches themselves yield numbers closer to 25%. What this indicates in that people claim to attend church more often than they actually do.

The problem with surveys is that certain answers carry with them an implied social stigma and thus people tend to pick the more acceptable answer. After all, why should I tell a complete stranger about my personal beliefs or activities?

This effect can be seen in surveys of religious beliefs and other social attitudes. Very few people will answer atheist, preferring instead to chose something less stark such as skeptic or agnostic, or will claim a belief in the existence of god just to avoid the issue. The same goes for racism. Just about no one will admit to believing that certain groups are inherently inferior, but tests in the real world indicate otherwise. Two of the most telling are those testing for hiring and housing discrimination.

Matched (in terms of education, income, etc) groups of black and white applicants are sent to the same places to apply for a job or obtain housing. In many cases the pattern of prejudice is easily revealed. One of the most upsetting was the result that employers would rather hire a white ex-felon over a black with no criminal record.

What this all means is that while surveys can show trends they are not really good at determining how people actually behave or think. As it relates to this diary, I think it may show that the southern church-republican link is slightly weaker than it appears, but the southern republican-racist link is slightly stronger. (There is also a northern racist link that is understudied as well).

PS. The graphs are a bit small, it would be useful if they could be larger or link to larger version.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Paul Rosenberg said...

I wouldn't doubt that church attendance is over-reported, but I'd like to see the references. The best data might well come from anthropologists. This would be about how who shows up how often within a controlled universe. That could then be compared to attendance figures, and we'd get an idea of how many people realistically show up how many times during a year.

Without knowing more, we're left to make of this data what we can. At the very least, it represents something aspirational, which seems to have some overall coherence.

And, of course, as you say, it means these figures are most reliable in marking trends, rather than absolute levels, which--fortunately--is my primary concern in this post.

Pollsters know about stigma effects, of course. But differ in their perceptions of where they may be problematic, and what to do about them.

In regards to racism it's comlicated by the fact that there's at least three things going on: a stigma effect, unconscious racism, and conformance to racist social norms--which is generally more or less conscious, but is not recoginized as racist.

One example is the simple question of "do you have any black friends"? Asked that way, people will over-report. But you get a different picture when you ask them to identify their friends, and then identify them racially. Here the stigma effect works to make people overstate their inter-racial friendships. Lots of imaginary black friends out there.

I'm going to talk about this explicitly when I discuss affirmative action in a future installment.

About the graph sizes, I guess I'm paranoid from past experience--trying to post in multiple places and ending up breaking margins. I'm still mulling over what to do about it.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Robert D Feinman said...

Try this link as a good place to start:

I think the absolute number of those in attendance should
have some effect. Those who don't actually attend much are
less likely to hear religious-political messages than those
who go more frequently. The question is do those messages
influence behavior, or not.
There is enough church shopping that those who don't like
what they hear are just as likely to start going somewhere

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Paul Rosenberg said...

Robert: Try this link as a good place to start:

That's an interesting link. I had looked elsewhere on that site before my initial response, but this page has more detail.

While they say that half the people are lying, I wonder if that's really truly, or if maybe a significant portion of people do go to church regularly, but not weekly. You can't tell that just from attendance levels. If 10% of the population goes to curch twice a month, that's a 5% attendance level. If 40% does, that's 20%. Now that you've raised this issue, I just know it's going to bug me.

Robert" I think the absolute number of those in attendance should have some effect. Those who don't actually attend much are less likely to hear religious-political messages than those who go more frequently. The question is do those messages
influence behavior, or not.

Which is why the questions raised above concern me. It's a very different thing if (a) regular attendance is over-reported by folks who rarely attend, and they're mixed together with folks who always do, or (b) regular attendance is over-reported much more evenly, with most folks attending 2-3 times a month, but claiming to go every week.

One thing that strikes me as plausible is that a good chunk of those may be from people who have one regular churchgoer in the house. And they respond as regular churchgoers, saying, silently, to themselves, "Ethyl goes regularly. She goes for the rest of us." But, again, this is just pure speculation on my part.

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Robert D Feinman said...

There have been two postings on dailyKos in the past two days from young people about the apathy or conservative outlook of their peers.

Judging from the large number of comments it would seem that the "conventional wisdom" about this demographic is wrong as well.

It seems almost impossible to get reliable information about attitudes these days. Either the polls are poorly designed, or the pollsters are biased or the people answering aren't truthful. So pundits expound using faulty data and supplement their opinions with anecdotal stories.

Does telling young people that their peers are apathetic, for example, make the ones who aren't less active? The immigrant rallys showed that there may be much going on beneath the radar of the conventional media.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Paul Rosenberg said...

There have been two postings on dailyKos in the past two days from young people about the apathy or conservative outlook of their peers.

Judging from the large number of comments it would seem that the "conventional wisdom" about this demographic is wrong as well.

The "conventional wisdom" is always wrong. That was Galraith's point when he coined the term.

It seems almost impossible to get reliable information about attitudes these days. Either the polls are poorly designed, or the pollsters are biased or the people answering aren't truthful. So pundits expound using faulty data and supplement their opinions with anecdotal stories.

This is a gross exaggeration. Most polls could be much better designed. For one thing, my hunch is that pollsters usually know better than their clients, but the clients pay the bills. But, more importantly, pollsters have their own conventional wisdom.

Given the work that's been done by folks like PIPA and Retro Poll, it should be standard to ask folks what they know, and then compare attitudes to belief in widespread disinformation.

Yet, these failings don't generally bring us false information. They bring us less information than better-designed polls would

OTOH, I think pollster bias is generally exaggerated in people's minds. Yes, there are definite house effects in presidential approval polling. But these are relatively modest, in the 1-2% range and based on models which are almost certainly good faith representations of what the pollsters believe--not bias in the traditional sense.

The bias that does affect polling the most comes from the political culture, and is simply accepted by pollsters. Such as in asking questions about the environment in opposition to the economy. There's bias there, all right, but it's not the pollsters' bias. They're far downstream from the source of bias.

As for people giving dishonest answers, this seems to be a relatively isolated phenomena. It's a big country. One can always find lots of exceptional cases to just about any generalization.

The real problem is pundits who simply ignore the polls they don't like. Thus, the majority of political discourse continues to fly in the face of the unpopulatity of the Iraq War, as seen by the labelling of Lamont as a "fringe" candidate. Yeah, right. A 60% fringe.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Robert D Feinman said...

You might find this essay interesting:

He contrasts conservatism with democracy. It was mentioned in a comment on my latest dKos diary trying to define conservatism:

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Robert D Feinman said...

Both citations seem to have been mangled, I'll try again:
Agre Essay

My essay

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Paul Rosenberg said...

Yes, it's a great essay. I introduced it to the MyDD community just after the 2004 election in this comment in a discussion of Chris Bower's front page story, "Yes, These Are Conservatives". Bowers quickly picked up on it, and devoted a diary to it within a few hours, called, oddly enough, "What is Conservatism and What is Wrong With It?" There was later a discussion of it as the first entry in MyDD's short-lived book club.

I'll take a look at your essay after I finish with my next installment of this series--hopefully later today.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

car insurance dallas
instant car insurance quote
best car insurance quote
state farm car insurance
new york car insurance
cheap car insurance quote uk
progressive car insurance
new jersey car insurance
car insurance houston
car insurance
car insurance price
cheap car insurance online
car insurance san diego
online car insurance
progressive car insurance
cheap car insurance uk
direct car insurance
car insurance in new jersey
best car insurance company
tesco car insurance
best car insurance rate
car insurance los angeles
infinity car insurance
car insurance rats
buy car insurance
progressive car insurance
usaa car insurance
car insurance comparison
aaa car insurance
car insurance quote

Random Keyword: :)
free car insurance quote

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your wonderful blog. I've learned alot about florida health insurance
here. I've got a little site which contains info about florida health insurance , as well
as a few other things. Please stop by

At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! » » »

At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful and informative web site. I used information from that site its great. »

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

free adult pic

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
Join me and my circle of friends at,
an online social networking community that connects
people from all over the world.

Meet new people, share photos, create or attend
events, post free classifieds, send free e-cards,
listen music, read blogs, upload videos, be part of a
club, chat rooms, forum and much more!

See you around! Bring all your friends too!

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

new jersey photo

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

inserection stores in atlanta ga
inserection adult novelties
inserection adult fantasy store
inserection atlanta
inserection adult store
star trek inserection
inserection business
inserection star trek
inserection jacksonville
inserection in atlanta
inserection aftershave
inserection hours
inserection and atlanta
www inserection com
inserection com
inserection stores
www shop inserection com
inserection adult fantasy store jacksonville fl
inserection adult fantasy
inserection atlanta sunday
adult video atlanta inserection hours
inserection store times
inserection and rebellion act of 1861
inserection atlanta directions
inserection stores in atlanta ga smyrna
inserection stores in atlanta ga addresses
inserection adult fantasy atlanta
search the web inserection
adult porn movie at inserection
com inserection www
fleshlight inserection
filipino inserection
http www inserection com
inserection adult fantasy com
inserection 30075
inserection marietta
inserection google
inserection chesire bridge
inserection sex atlanta
inserection ga
inserection adult fantasy store in atlanta
inserection adult
inserection atlanta ga
inserection adult fantasy store jacksonville fl
inserection ga atlanta
inserection on peachtree st in atlanta
inserection adult fantasy store atlanta ga
inserection sex atlanta adult stores
inserection starships
inserection glory holes
inserection and starships
inserection atlanta hours
shop inserection
search www inserection com
starcraft inserection
atlanta adult video store
adult entertainment video preview atlanta ga
atlanta adult video
adult video atlanta insurrection cheshire bridge
atlanta adult video stores
adult atlanta store video
adult video retail atlanta ga
adult video atlanta georgia
adult video atlanta
adult video stores in atlanta
atlanta adult video store
starship enterprise adult video atlanta
adult video store atlanta
good vibrations adult video atlanta
adult video store in atlanta
adult atlanta in store video
adult video rental alpharetta atlanta
adult video stores atlanta
adult video stores gloryholes atlanta area
adult video in atlanta
atlanta video adult loveshack
adult video stores in atlanta ga
southern nights adult video atlanta
adult video stores in atlanta georgia
atlanta xxx video adult
atlanta gay adult video studio
atlanta video adult buford
adult video atlanta area
adult video stores in atlanta ga
atlanta and adult video stores
adult video atlanta ga
atlanta video adult buford
adult video atlanta inserection hours
adult video stores in atlanta ga
atlanta adult video stores
atlanta adult video cam
video atlanta adult japanese
atlanta adult video store 20
atlanta xxx video adult
adult video rental atlanta
atlanta adult video insurection
adult gay video atlanta
atlanta adult video insurrection
adult video rental in atlanta
atlanta adult video stores ga
starship enterprises adult video atlanta
atlanta adult novelty
adult atlanta novelty store
adult novelty cakes atlanta
adult novelty store atlanta
insurrection adult novelty peachtree street atlanta
insurrection adult novelty store atlanta
adult novelty atlanta
adult atlanta in novelty store
atlanta adult novelty store
adult atlanta georgia near novelty shop
adult novelty stores in atlanta
atlanta adult novelty store
adult novelty stores atlanta
adult novelty cakes in atlanta ga
atlanta adult novelty stores
adult sex novelty stores atlanta
atlanta adult novelty stores
adult novelty cake atlanta
adult novelty stores in atlanta georgia
adult novelty in atlanta georgia
adult novelty store in atlanta ga
sex toys atlanta
sex toys in atlanta
adult sex toys in atlanta
sex toys store atlanta
wholesale adult sex toys atlanta ga
atlanta erotic toys sex adult

atlanta sex toys
atlanta adult sex toys and novelties retail store
sex toys atlanta 30307
adult sex toys atlanta
atlanta sex toys dildo
dom sub sex toys atlanta
loveshack adult store
atlanta video adult loveshack
loveshack adult novelty store
loveshack in atlanta
atlanta video adult loveshack
loveshack atlanta
loveshack atlanta georgia
starship enterprises atlanta
starship atlanta
starship enterprise atlanta
atlanta starship enterprises
starship enterprises atlanta georgia
atlanta enterprise starship
starship in atlanta
starship store atlanta
atlanta starship
starship headshops atlanta
starship adult atlanta
starship and atlanta
starship adult store atlanta
atlanta starship limousine
atlanta enterprise ga starship
starship enterprises store atlanta
starship in atlanta ga
starship enterprise adult video atlanta
starship of atlanta
review atlanta starship
starship atlanta ga
review atlanta starship enterprises
atlanta starship limosouine
starship enterprise stores atlanta
rate atlanta starship enterprises
rate atlanta starship
starship stores in atlanta ga
starship in atlanta ga
starship enterprises atlanta online store
starship atlanta georgia
atlanta and starship enterprise
google com custom q starship i atlanta
starship enterprise atlanta georgia
starship adult store atlanta ga
starship enterprises atlanta ga
starship enterprise in atlanta
starship novelty atlanta
starship enterprizes atlanta
starship trading atlanta
starship entertainment and atlanta
atlanta starship store
atlanta starship adult

atlanta starship lim
atlanta adult book store starship
review atlanta starship enterprise
starship enterprises atlanta novelty
starship enterprise adult store atlanta
starship enterprizes atlanta adult
starship enterprises atlanta ga
starship enterprises and galaxy trading in atlanta
starship enterprises adult store atlanta ga
starship atlanta
starship adult store atlanta ga
starship enterprise atlanta adult store
starship enterprise elations atlanta
starship stores atlanta
starship enterpirses adult store atlanta ga
starship enterpirses adult store atlanta ga
starship enterprise porn store atlanta
starship enterprises adult store atlanta ga
starship enterprises adult video atlanta
starship atlanta ga
starship enterprises atlanta store
starship atlanta
the starship atlanta ga
starship adult store
starship adult novelties
starship adult
starship enterprises adult novelty store
starship adult stores
adult enterprise starship store video
adult enterprise starship store
adult enterprise starship
adult starship store
starship adult toys
starship adult novelty
starship adult novelty store
adult comic starship
starship enterprise adult store
starship adult bookstore
starship enterprise adult
starship enterprise adult video
starship adult entertainment
adult starship
starship adult atlanta
adult enterprise starship video
starship adult novelty and tobbacco wharehouse

starship adult toy store
adult novelty starship
starship adult store atlanta
adult novelty starship store
starship enterprise adult video atlanta
starship enterprises adult
starship enterprise adult novelty store
starship entertainment adult novelties
starship adult video
starship adult bookstore
starship enterprise adult stores
adult starship enterprise
starship adult novlety
starship enterprises adult video
starship adult store college park ga
starship adult novelties store
starship adult novelties georgia
adult toys starship
adult video starship
starship adult toy
starship adult ga
starship adult novelty stores
adult starship trading galaxy
adult novelties starship
adult starship
adult store starship suwanee ga
starship enterprises adult novelties
starship adult dvds
starship adult novality
starship enterprise adult video store
starship enterprise adult entertainment
starship adult sex
starship the adult store
starship adult store atlanta ga
starship in adult
starship adult video store
starship adult ware
starship adult enterprises
starship galaxy adult toys
starship adult novelty store ga
starship adult wear
adult entertainment stores in georgia starship enterprises
adult videos starship
atlanta starship adult
adult store starship
atlanta adult book store starship
application for adult starship
experience starship adult
starship enterprises adult store
starship enterpirses adult store atlanta ga
starship industries adult
starship enterprise adult store atlanta
starship enterprizes atlanta adult
starship adult sex shop
starship the adult store com
starship sex adult
starship enterprises adult store atlanta ga
starship adult ertertainment
starship adult store atlanta ga
starship enterprise atlanta adult store
starship enterprise adult super store
starship enterprize adult super sotre
starship adult novelt
starship adult stores net
starship enterpirses adult store atlanta ga
starship adult store
starship adult movies
starship enterpirses adult store atlanta ga
starship adult shops
starship enterprises adult toy stores
starship adult star
starship enterprises adult store atlanta ga
starship enterprises adult video atlanta
starship adult stores georgia
starship adult novelty toy store
starship adult comic
starship enterprises adult store atlanta ga
starship the adult store site
starship enterprises adult novilties
starship the adult store official site
starship adult store atlanta ga
starship adult novelties suwanee ga

At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it » » »

At 7:36 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, tory burch outlet, nike air max, coach outlet, christian louboutin shoes, true religion, prada outlet, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet store, christian louboutin, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren outlet, christian louboutin outlet, kate spade outlet online, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, nike free, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, burberry outlet online, kate spade handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren, gucci handbags, ray ban outlet, true religion outlet, longchamp handbags, oakley vault, longchamp outlet, coach purses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, coach outlet store online, tiffany and co jewelry, nike air max, coach outlet, red bottom shoes

At 7:41 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

mulberry, lululemon, north face pas cher, true religion jeans, longchamp pas cher, air max, lacoste pas cher, sac michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, louis vuitton, louis vuitton pas cher, air max pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, ray ban pas cher, ray ban uk, ralph lauren pas cher, guess pas cher, longchamp, sac louis vuitton, north face, nike free, timberland, nike roshe run, oakley pas cher, scarpe hogan, nike air force, chaussure louboutin, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors canada, tn pas cher, nike free pas cher, true religion outlet, vans pas cher, hollister, hollister, hermes pas cher, nike air max, nike air max, barbour, new balance pas cher, nike roshe, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton uk, air jordan, ralph lauren, michael kors uk, converse pas cher

At 7:49 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

p90x workout, ghd, nike huarache, nike trainers, babyliss pro, lululemon outlet, rolex watches, longchamp, new balance outlet, vans outlet, mont blanc pens, uggs outlet, ugg soldes, insanity workout, roshe run, canada goose outlet, north face jackets, marc jacobs outlet, north face outlet, canada goose outlet, celine handbags, uggs on sale, jimmy choo shoes, ugg boots, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, chi flat iron, bottega veneta, ugg outlet, reebok shoes, soccer shoes, giuseppe zanotti, wedding dresses, instyler ionic styler, canada goose outlet, soccer jerseys, mac cosmetics, canada goose, mcm handbags, beats headphones, asics shoes, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, hollister, herve leger, ugg, birkin bag

At 7:56 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

pandora charms, canada goose uk, canada goose, converse shoes, hollister, converse, nike air max, parajumpers outlet, links of london uk, ralph lauren, thomas sabo uk, timberland shoes, toms outlet, replica watches, coach outlet, moncler, oakley, lancel, baseball bats, montre femme, juicy couture outlet, moncler, louis vuitton canada, moncler, supra shoes, karen millen, hollister canada, ray ban, moncler, uggs canada, hollister clothing, pandora jewelry, iphone 6 case, pandora uk, vans, louboutin, juicy couture outlet, moncler, gucci, swarovski jewelry, ugg, swarovski uk, moncler outlet, wedding dress, canada goose pas cher, canada goose, air max, moncler

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Junda Xu said...

20151026 junda
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton outlet
nfl jerseys
cheap ugg boots
Coach Factory Outlet Online Sale
air max 95,nike golf,nike janoski,air max 1,nike canada,nike plus,nike shox,nike factory store
Louboutin Red Bottoms Shoes Outlet
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
ralph lauren polo
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet sale
ugg boots
Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbags Cheap Online
mont blanc
michael kors outlet
Gucci Outlet Online Sale
michael kors handbags
Authentic Louis Vuitton Belts Outlet Store
michael kors outlet
Coach Factory Outlet Private Sale
true religion jeans
tory burch outlet
Oakley Vault Outlet Store Online
hollister clothing store
nike trainers
Louis Vuitton Handbags Official Site
michael kors handbag
Louis Vuitton Handbags Factory Store
uggs australia

At 6:11 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses wholesale, christian louboutin uk, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, louis vuitton, jordan shoes, ugg boots, air max, sac longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet online, prada outlet, nike roshe, tory burch outlet, burberry pas cher, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, polo outlet, jordan pas cher, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, michael kors pas cher, replica watches, cheap oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin shoes, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, nike free run, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp pas cher, tiffany and co, ugg boots, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses

At 6:13 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

replica handbags, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk, michael kors, coach outlet store online, coach purses, michael kors outlet online, true religion jeans, timberland pas cher, hollister uk, polo lacoste, oakley pas cher, north face uk, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, michael kors, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike free uk, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, mulberry uk, guess pas cher, true religion outlet, sac hermes, sac vanessa bruno, converse pas cher, nike air max, new balance, kate spade, coach outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, ralph lauren uk, vans pas cher, nike air force, north face, burberry outlet, lululemon canada, michael kors outlet online, nike tn, nike blazer pas cher, true religion outlet, ray ban uk, hogan outlet, ray ban pas cher, nike air max uk, nike roshe run uk, burberry handbags

At 6:15 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

soccer jerseys, iphone cases, mcm handbags, iphone 6s cases, mac cosmetics, chi flat iron, iphone 5s cases, new balance shoes, nfl jerseys, hollister clothing, soccer shoes, instyler, abercrombie and fitch, iphone 6 plus cases, north face outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, beats by dre, ferragamo shoes, asics running shoes, celine handbags, herve leger, iphone 6 cases, s6 case, louboutin, hermes belt, wedding dresses, baseball bats, ghd hair, insanity workout, north face outlet, timberland boots, jimmy choo outlet, reebok outlet, longchamp uk, hollister, babyliss, nike air max, lululemon, valentino shoes, p90x workout, giuseppe zanotti outlet, mont blanc pens, ralph lauren, bottega veneta, ipad cases, nike roshe run, oakley, vans outlet, nike huaraches, nike trainers uk

At 6:17 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

juicy couture outlet, converse outlet, links of london, barbour, vans, nike air max, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler outlet, moncler, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, hollister, karen millen uk, louis vuitton, montre pas cher, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, coach outlet, swarovski crystal, pandora uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, ugg uk, toms shoes, supra shoes, ray ban, moncler, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, moncler uk, replica watches, canada goose uk, converse, ugg, moncler, barbour uk, lancel, doudoune moncler, louis vuitton, gucci, wedding dresses, hollister, canada goose, marc jacobs, moncler, swarovski

At 12:45 AM, Blogger 柯云 said...

gucci outlet online
copy watches
louis vuitton outlet
oakley sunglasses wholesale
true religion jeans
michael kors outlet clearance
toms outlet
gucci handbags
abercrombie outlet
louis vuitton purses
coach outlet
ray bans
kobe 8
coach factory outlet
true religion outlet
fitflop shoes
kate spade
air force 1 trainers
michael kors outlet
ralph lauren
oakley vault
louis vuitton purses
polo ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
true religion outlet online
louis vuitton outlet online
cheap jordans
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet online
longchamp handbags
air max 90
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet store
beats by dre outlet
nfl jerseys
coach outlet canada
jordan retro 13
christian louboutin shoes
cheap jordan shoes

At 11:44 PM, Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

fitflops clearance
nike air zoom
michael kors handbags
nmd adidas store
tiffany and co outlet
nike air huarache
cheap uggs
ray ban sunglasses
adidas stan smith women
nike dunks
fitflops sale
oakley sunglasses
kobe basketball shoes
adidas nmd
kobe byrant shoes
jordan retro
chrome hearts
tiffany and co uk
air jordan retro
ralph lauren uk

At 3:03 AM, Blogger luckys said...

lucky patcher

At 5:23 AM, Blogger luckys said...

lucky patcher


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home