State of the Union January/February 2006

The Twelve Tribes of American Politics

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This chart breaks the 2004 electorate into twelve politically relevant "tribes" based on their values, behaviors, and religious affiliation. Each circle corresponds in relative size to the group it represents. The chart reveals some polarization of the electorate. But it also shows that voting preferences do not sort as neatly by cultural values or religious affiliation as people might expect. Tribe definitions are below.

primary sources chart

Religious right: White evangelical Protestants with traditional beliefs and practices

Heartland culture warriors: White non-evangelical Christians with traditional beliefs and practices

Moderate evangelicals: White evangelical Protestants with moderate beliefs and practices

White-bread Protestants: White mainline Protestants with moderate beliefs and practices

Convertible Catholics: Non-Latino Catholics with moderate beliefs and practices

Religious left: White Christians with liberal beliefs and practices

Muslims and Others: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other religious groups not otherwise categorized

Seculars: Voters with no religious affiliation, beliefs, or practices

Jews, Latino Christians, black Protestants, and the spiritual but not religious are self-explanatory

Sources: Ray C. Bliss Institute and Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
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