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dc.contributor.authorSmith, Mark Caleb
dc.description.abstractWhat is the relationship between the religious right and the Republican party in the American South? This simple question is investigated with both aggregate and individual level data (from a 1996 Pew Survey, the 1996 and 1998 Voter News Service Exit Polls as well as data from the 1992, 1996, and 1998 American National Election Studies), which is analyzed through bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. Three separate findings are relevant to the research question. First, religious right (who are statistically defined as evangelical, fundamentalist, and charismatic Christians who are doctrinally orthodox, think religion is an important part of their lives, and believe the church's main function is conversion) Republicans are very different from other Republicans on social and civil rights policy orientations, though they are nearly identical when the size and scope of government intervention is considered. Second, these differences apparently extend into the campaigns of religious right candidates in the South. Religious right Republican candidates are relatively rare in the region's statewide elections, but they are most prevalent in states that have high populations of evangelical Christians and low minority populations. These religious right candidates perform moderately well in statewide primary elections, but there is a negative relationship between religious right candidate status and vote totals in general elections. Third, at the individual level, religious right Republicans and other Republican voters behave very differently in statewide general elections. Religious right Republicans make no voting distinctions between religious right and non-religious right Republican candidates, supporting them all at very high rates. Other Republicans, however, vote for religious right Republican candidates at much lower levels than those at which they vote for other Republican candidates, even when ideology, income, race, gender, and view of the economy are controlled. Ultimately, it seems that religious right Republicans are well integrated into the South's GOP, while more traditional Republicans are not welcoming of their fellow partisans when they run for statewide offices. This instability could threaten the party's ability to become the dominant party in the region and the majority party in the nation.
dc.subjectAmerican Politics
dc.subjectAmerican South
dc.subjectRepublican Party
dc.subjectReligious Right
dc.titleWith friends like these
dc.title.alternativethe religious right, the Republican Party, and the politics of the American South
dc.description.departmentPolitical Science
dc.description.majorPolitical Science
dc.description.advisorCharles S. Bullock, III
dc.description.committeeCharles S. Bullock, III
dc.description.committeeScott Ainsworth
dc.description.committeeDelmer Dunn
dc.description.committeeJerome S. Legge, Jr
dc.description.committeeStefanie Lindquist

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