The share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady in every major religious group since 2008. This includes both religious groups that are part of the GOP’s traditional constituency as well as some groups that have tended to align more with the Democratic Party, such as Jewish Americans. In 2008, 20% of Jewish voters identified with the Republican Party; in 2011, that number grew to 29%. Looked at another way, Jewish voters favored Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer it by a significantly smaller 36-point margin.
Among white evangelical Protestants (a traditionally Republican group), support for the GOP grew from 65% in 2008 to 70% today.. The GOP has also posted gains among Mormons, 80% of whom now say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Republican gains are also apparent among white mainline Protestants, who split between the parties in 2008 but who now favor the GOP by a 12-point margin, and white non-Hispanic Catholics, who supported Democrats in 2008 but now support the Republican Party by seven points.
In general, the trend among religious groups mirrors that of the electorate as a whole: The number of voters who identify as Democrats has declined as the number who lean toward the GOP has risen. Read More