The Twelve Tribes of American Politics

Last year, on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, Beliefnet introduced the “Twelve Tribes of American Politics” to demonstrate how the religious groups that factor in American political decision-making are a great deal more complicated than simply a division between the Religious Right and the Religious Left.

Using data from the Fourth National Survey on Religion and Politics, Beliefnet defined the religious groupings that make up our political landscape. The data is now updated to include results from surveys completed after the November 2004 election. It now show both longterm trends and specific preferences during the 2004 election season.

This reprise confirms last year’s biggest finding: the Religious Right and the Religious Left are almost exactly the same size. The former has had a much greater impact for the past 25 years largely because of superior organization and drive.


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