people’s faith lies, and
to concreteexpressions of religious commitment.Party identification has been defined as an“individual’s affective orientation” to a politicalparty (Campbell, Converse, Miller and Stokes
1960: 121). While the degree to which thisattachment is influenced by factors aside fromfamily socialization is debated, some scholarsclaim that non-partisan loyalties such asmembership in religious groups increaseidentification with political groups. Examplesinclude Catholics’ identification with theDemocratic Party in the United States anddiverse religious denominations’ identificationwith a variety of political parties across theAmericas (Herberg 1955; Converse 1966;Magaloni and Moreno 2003; DeSipio 2007).Nevertheless,
isnot the only religiousmeasure that explainspolitical behavior;
also explainidentification with parties.Regarding
, sacredtexts and diversetheological messagesreceived from religious leaders may shapepartisanship when religious messages arerelated to current policy debates (Layman 1997).Regarding
, religious commitment,attendance of religious services, and religiousgroup involvement also may increase partyidentification. Religious attendance implies thatparishioners meet each other on regular basis,providing opportunities for politicaldeliberation. This could lead to engagement inpolitics (Converse 1966; Wald, Owen and Hill1988; Huckfeldt, Plutzer and Sprague 1993;Kaufmann 2004).In sum,
has been found to be animportant predictor of political behavior, andthere are reasons to consider that
are also relevant to the question ofidentification with political parties (Layman1997). In short, and not surprisingly, partyidentification “is strongly correlated withreligion” (Fiorina 1981: 254), since religionrepresents a way to interpret the world.
Measuring Religion and OtherDeterminants of Partisanship
by considering affiliation withfour main groups: Catholics, MainlineProtestants, Evangelicals and other religions.
Inaddition, I measure
using a questionregarding the importance of religion in one’s life(Layman 2001). Finally, to tap
, I includeattendance of religious meetings such as thosesponsored by religious societies andconfraternities.
In addition, I estimate an empirical model usingcognitive and demographic variables. Regardingcognitive measures, some scholars argue thatsophisticated citizens are less likely to bepartisans, whereas theirless educated fellowcitizens tend to rely moreon partisanship (Converse1966; Huber, Kernell andLeoni 2005). Nevertheless,available evidence in LatinAmerica suggests thatsophistication, as measuredby news mediaconsumption, is a positive predictor of partyidentification (Pérez-Liñán 2002; Morgan 2007).Finally, strong identification with political andeconomic ideologies may increase partisanshipgiven that differences between political partiesare likely to matter more for those who are moreextreme ideologically.
In the 26 countries of this study, 58.8% are Catholic, 8.28%Protestants, and 18.71% Evangelicals. The reference categoryis comprised of people who do not profess any religion(9.02%). The other religions category includes Latter DaySaints (1.03%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (0.30%), Jews (0.19%),Eastern (3.14%), and Native religions (0.53%). For additionaldetails regarding the classification of religiousdenominations, please see Number 29 of the
In the US and Canada, respondents were not askedwhether they attended religious services. The analysis heredoes not include this variable in order to keep these twocountries in the equation. However, prior modelsconsidering only Latin America and the Caribbean suggestthat weekly and monthly attendance increase partisanship.
Political ideological intensity is measured using a 10-pointscale from left to right (or from liberal to conservative) usinga folded variable, in which I calculated the absolute value ofthe median point of scale (5.5) minus the self-reportedplacement, i.e. 5.5-1=4.5 and 5.5-10=4.5. For 2 and 9
Parishioners meet each other onregular basis, providingopportunities for politicaldeliberation. This could lead toengagement in politics.