outposts :: blogging & updates

As an affiliated scholar with Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), I have blogged for fivethirtyeight.com, the Monkey Cage, and Vox.com with Andy Lewis, Jake Neiheisel, Anand Sokhey, Amanda Friesen, and others. This is also a space for other updates and thoughts.

I few years ago I started a blogging project with 5 other talented social scientists called religioninpublic.blog. It has original analyses, discussion of new articles and books, and other features. Here’s my post list.

I also run a blog in collaboration with some really talented Denison students: https://onetwentyseven.blog/ – data journalism turned inward to bring back the public benefits of social science to the campus community.

Monkey Cage blog: White evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats would strip away their rights. Why?

December 23, 2019

As the House has moved through the impeachment of President Trump, voices on the extreme right have been arguing that it’s the first shot in a coming “civil war.” According to conservative evangelical conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles, “The Democrats are forcing me to stockpile ammunition, food, water, and medical supplies to defend my family, home, and church.” In a speech before the Values Voter Summit, Trump similarly said that Democrats were coming for the rights of Christians, which he said he would resist if he stayed in office. Franklin Graham claims that “demonic forces” are pressing for the impeachment of someone that a significant proportion of evangelicals believe is God’s anointed president.

[Read more] [this version has graphs]

RNS: How many Americans believe Trump is anointed by God?

By Paul A. Djupe and Ryan Burge

Over the weekend, Rick Perry, the U.S. secretary of energy, became the latest highly placed evangelical Christian to claim that President Trump is the “chosen one.” 

“I said you were,” Perry said in a clip from an interview shown on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” relating a recent conversation with Trump about an August press briefing in which the president said, “I am the chosen one.” 

“If you are a believing Christian, you understand God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet and our government,” Perry explained. The energy secretary said he had given the president a memo listing the kings of Israel, all of them ordained by God in the Bible — none of whom, Perry pointed out, “were perfect.”

Is this view of Trump as anointed by God common among Protestants? We put a survey into the field in May of 2019 that assessed the opinions of just over 1,000 Protestant Christians. We asked two questions regarding the anointing of presidents by God.

[Read more]

Monkey Cage blog: Why young white evangelicals aren’t likely to leave the Republican Party

By Jeremy Castle, Ryan Burge, and Paul A. Djupe

In 2020, will white evangelical Christians stick with the Republican Party, where they’ve long been a reliable voting bloc? Evangelicals made up just over one-third of President Trump’s 2016 coalition, and have been among his most loyal supporters. At the same time, researchers and observers have been debating whether the evangelical-Republican coalition can last. In a recent piece for FiveThirtyEight, researcher Dan Cox reports that young white evangelicals are less favorable toward Trump than older evangelicals, due at least in part to differences on immigration, and speculates that generational differences may push young evangelicals out of the GOP. We disagree. Young evangelical whites are likely to remain reliably Republican. Here’s why.

[Read more]

Monkey Cage blog: Why do professors who are women publish less research than men? Here’s what we found

By Paul A. Djupe, Amy Erica Smith, and Anand E. Sokhey

From sports to journalism to Hollywood, problems with gender equity have been making headlines. The academy has many of the same issues — which are political and sociological problems that deserve study, just like the other issues our disciplines investigate.

We investigated possible gender inequities in research publications in two social science disciplines: political science and sociology. Over the past several decades, both disciplines have increasingly seen women taking faculty positions at nearly the same rate as men. But men continue to hold the most senior spots and have more time and funding to support their research and publication. Are there gender gaps in research output and why?

[Read more]

Vox.com: Younger evangelicals look a lot like older evangelicals post-2016.

By Jeremy Castle, Ryan Burge, and Paul A. Djupe

piece recently published in the New York Times, written by Elizabeth Dias, reported on how young evangelicals were thinking about religion and politics ahead of the midterms based on 1,500 submissions to an open call put out by the paper. The piece should be commended for acknowledging the diversity of voices in the evangelical community. There has long been a small evangelical left, represented by such publications as Sojourners, and new issues have arisen that have opened up opportunities for collaboration across the ideological divide. However, it is important to acknowledge how young evangelicals compare to 1) other young citizens, 2) other evangelicals, and 3) previous young evangelical cohorts on their issue attitudes, how those attitudes may be driving partisanship and ideology, and what their all-important voting patterns are.

[Read more]

Monkey Cage blog: Regular churchgoing doesn’t make Trump voters more moderate. It makes them more enthusiastic for Trump.

By Paul A. Djupe and Ryan Burge

In a recent report that made a bit of a splash, Emily Ekins of the Cato Institute suggested a different perspective. Instead of having “compromised [their] Christian values in order to attain political power for Republicans,” she wrote in the New York Times, religious Trump voters feel more warmly toward minority groups, support international trade and immigration, and are more concerned about poverty than Trump voters who don’t attend church. “Religion appears to actually be moderating conservative attitudes,” Ekins argues, suggesting that churches may help bridge social conflict over some of the Trump administration’s most controversial policies.

But is that true? 

[Read more]

Monkey Cage blog: Roger Stone says there would be an ‘insurrection’ if Trump were impeached. Is he right?

By Paul Djupe, Jake Neiheisel, Anand Sokhey, Andrew Lewis, and Ryan Claassen.

In a recent interview with TMZ, President Trump’s confidant Roger Stone was asked about the prospect of the president’s impeachment, a topic that has arisen occasionally in recent months. “You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you’ve never seen,” Stone responded. “The people will not stand for impeachment. A politician that votes for it would be endangering their own life.”

Even if we take Stone’s comments as the hyperbole of a well-known provocateur, his remarks imply that Trump’s supporters are intensely motivated to back the president. If the Trump presidency were imperiled by a move for impeachment, would Trump’s supporters be mobilized to political action?

[read more]

Monkey Cage – How fights over Trump have led evangelicals to leave their churches

Jake Neiheisel, Anand Sokhey, and I discuss our paper in AJPS that shows how disagreement over politics drives marginal members to leave their churches. 2016 provided fertile ground to extend that research and we find that disagreement over Trump provided the spur for some evangelicals to leave. This appeared on the Monkey Cage blog and at religioninpublic.blog (in expanded version).

fivethirtyeight.com: How Will Obama Be Graded By History? (with Andy Lewis)

After eight years in office, Barack Obama will end his presidency on Friday. There has already been much talk of his accomplishments, failures and legacy, but it will take years or even decades for historians, political scientists, journalists and the American people to confidently assess his place among other American presidents. In the meantime (sorry, we’re impatient), what can we say about how history will judge Obama? [read more]