Religious Institutions And Minor Parties In The United States

Overview

Gilbert et al. examine the impact of churches and church membership patterns on third parties and independent candidates in 20th-century U.S. politics. Candidates who choose not to run for office under the rubric of a major party face a well-known set of obstacles, yet the absence of discussion about the interconnections between religious institutions and minor parties is striking. The book presents a theoretical framework for understanding how religious institutions create, support, and sustain the political ...

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Overview

Gilbert et al. examine the impact of churches and church membership patterns on third parties and independent candidates in 20th-century U.S. politics. Candidates who choose not to run for office under the rubric of a major party face a well-known set of obstacles, yet the absence of discussion about the interconnections between religious institutions and minor parties is striking. The book presents a theoretical framework for understanding how religious institutions create, support, and sustain the political culture of local communities; by playing this role religious institutions support major parties and impede the electoral chances of political outsiders.

The book's central finding is that third candidates are not privy to the ties that bind Democratic and Republican voters to their parties; one of the factors that creates and strengthens such ties is religion. Therefore, third candidates do best where church and party loyalties are weakest, or where third candidates have existing bases of support. The rare third candidate or minor party that possesses a base of support centered around a denomination or religious group can overcome such barriers. These conclusions are supported by analysis of census data, election returns, and voter surveys spanning the 20th century. Special attention is given to the 1992 and 1996 presidential candidacies of H. Ross Perot. This is an important analysis for scholars and other researchers dealing with American third parties and independent candidates and the impact of religion on politics.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Looks at issues surrounding the significance of religion and religious institutions in electoral politics, especially as they affect minor parties and independent candidates. Examines the impact of churches and church membership patterns on support for third parties and independent candidates, focusing on presidential elections with a significant independent candidate over the past century, with some material on recent state-level elections as well. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275963101
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/1999
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER P. GILBERT is Associate Professor of Political Science at Gustavus Adolphus College and author of The Impact of Churches on Political Behavior (Greenwood, 1993).

DAVID A. M. PETERSON is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Minnesota, where he has concentrated on American politics and methods.

TIMOTHY R. JOHNSON is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he concentrates on Supreme Court decision making, constitutional law, and judicial processes.

PAUL A. DJUPE is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The University of St. Thomas. His research interests center on church involvement and political behavior.

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures
Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 A Theory of Religious Institutions and Minor Parties 11
3 Data Sources and Initial Investigations 33
4 Aggregate Minor Candidate Voting Patterns in Presidential Elections, 1912-1992 51
5 The Religious Dimensions of Minor Candidate Support: Voter Behavior in 1968, 1980, and 1992 73
6 Minor Candidates in 1994 U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial Elections 93
7 Minor Candidates and Religious Factors in the 1996 Presidential Election 121
8 Conclusions and Extensions 139
App. A Variable Coding Schemes 149
App. B Ecological Inference: Methods and Issues 159
Bibliography 161
Index 173
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