Identifier

etd-06142005-122736

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

In examining one’s level of religious involvement and orthodoxy of worship, several authors have found significant correlations between levels of these variables and an attachment to political parties, particularly the Republican Party (Layman, 1997). My analysis of a 2002 ABC News/Washington Post poll (ICPSR, 2002) finds that the same mechanism that is indicative of partisanship also influences and reinforces evangelicals’ sympathies toward Israel. While the Republican and Evangelical variables are statistically significant with respect to an elevated level of sympathy toward Israel, the interaction effect of these two variables is the most noteworthy product of this analysis. When subjects respond as being both Republican and Evangelical, the size of the coefficient is at its strongest and most significant. This finding supports the hypothesized mechanism: the evangelicals’ inherent sympathy toward Israel is related to their level of religiosity and is reinforced by their membership in the Republican Party. This is due to the fact that the Republican Party also has an interest in sympathizing with the State of Israel, much like the Democratic Party. The relationship between membership in the Republican Party and evangelicalism is largely based on the previous studies of Guth and Green (1986, 1987) and Layman (1997). The mechanism implied by these scholars, and used for this analysis, is the result of the consistency of the evangelicals’ conservative standing on domestic social issues and the corresponding position of the Republican Party on the same issues. This position is markedly different than the Democratic Party’s stance. Therefore, this difference in parties predisposes evangelicals to the Republican Party. Rather than the result of an arbitrary decision, the Republican evangelical constituency, initially founded on domestic social issues, must be satisfied with their party’s policies toward Israel. This notion represents a level of reinforcement that is not present under other partisanship interactions.

Date

2005

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Eugene Wittkopf

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