Not as Conservative as One Would Think; Orthodox Christian Views on Politics, Gay Marriage, Abortion Revealed in Pew Center Research

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Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the National Baptist Convention – are two of the most reliably Democratic groups, according to data from Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study that was released in 2016.

Orthodox Christians are somewhere in the middle of those two extremes as far as a group goes, but lean more toward the Democratic party, according to the survey results from the Pew Research Center.

Political affiliation of major U.S. religions

Political affiliation of major U.S. religions

Thirty four percent of Orthodox Christians are or lean Republican while forty four percent identify or lean towards the Democratic party. Twenty-two percent are independent or have no political affiliation.

In addition to Pew’s political affiliation polls, they have surveyed the demographic landscapes of the nation’s religious groups and have come up with an interactive chart that reveals their results.

For example, 40% of Orthodox Christians are classified as immigrants, while 23% comprise the second generation and the remaining 36% are third generation or higher.

Interesting results about Orthodox Christians’ views on abortion, evolution, homosexuality and gay marriage are included in the results, which reveal differing views between the faithful and official church positions.

Pew Poll Results:

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3 Comments

  1. Anestis Jordanoglou on

    The 2015 Pew Study on religion which uses random sampling only surveyed 182 Orthodox out of the approximately 1 million Orthodox in the country (according to Alexei Krindatch. This is also 1/2 the amount of the 2008 survey –

    So the results are suspect to a huge margins for error –

    Here is an analysis of the study by Professor Andrew Walsh, Associate Director of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and Coordinator of the Program on Public Values at Trinity College

    This was offered at the “Speaking to Secular America Conference” held at Holy Cross Theological Institute in October of 2015 where he presented. His full paper is available through Praxis Magazine produced by the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

    Here is the section relevant to the Pew Study

    “As with any survey research project that divides a large sample into smaller groups for study, the size of the subgroups makes a difference in the validity of the samples. The overall Pew Landscape studies are both based on extremely reliable samples of more than 35,000 interviews. The margin of error for the overall surveys is a stupendously good: less than one percent.
    But the margins of error for subgroup data—individual denominations and faith traditions–varies enormously. They are excellent for large groups like Catholics, Nones and Evangelicals, but worse, often much worse, for smaller groups. For the Orthodox, the margin of error for Pew 2008 was 6.4 percent and. For Pew 2015, it was above 9 percent—weak and worse.
    The reason for very these high margins of error is that Pew’s national Orthodox population estimates are based on interviews with a very small number of individuals: 369 (of 35,000) in 2008 and only 182 in 2015. A really robust Orthodox sample would require a sample size of about 1,000 interviews, which would yield a margin of error of four percent.
    Therefore the Pew Orthodox sample, is not, as statisticians would say, robust data. It’s especially disappointing that the 2015 sample is so small—half the size of 2008! There’s no negligence on Pew’s part, the limitations are clearly discussed in the methodological sections of the reports. It is just very difficult to find many Orthodox to interview in a random sampling process–the 2008 sample is actually the largest Orthodox sample in the history of random sample survey research. “

  2. Anestis Jordanoglou on

    If I may respond –

    Here is the response by Andrew Walsh, Associate Director of the Greenberg Institute for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford – Orthodox hotshot in surveys and analysis of public life – totally data driven

    “As with any survey research project that divides a large sample into smaller groups for study, the size of the subgroups makes a difference in the validity of the samples. The overall Pew Landscape studies are both based on extremely reliable samples of more than 35,000 interviews. The margin of error for the overall surveys is a stupendously good: less than one percent.

    But the margins of error for subgroup data—individual denominations and faith traditions–varies enormously. They are excellent for large groups like Catholics, Nones and Evangelicals, but worse, often much worse, for smaller groups. For the Orthodox, the margin of error for Pew 2008 was 6.4 percent and. For Pew 2015, it was above 9 percent—weak and worse.

    The reason for very these high margins of error is that Pew’s national Orthodox population estimates are based on interviews with a very small number of individuals: 369 (of 35,000) in 2008 and only 182 in 2015. A really robust Orthodox sample would require a sample size of about 1,000 interviews, which would yield a margin of error of four percent.

    Therefore the Pew Orthodox sample, is not, as statisticians would say, robust data. It’s especially disappointing that the 2015 sample is so small—half the size of 2008! There’s no negligence on Pew’s part, the limitations are clearly discussed in the methodological sections of the reports. It is just very difficult to find many Orthodox to interview in a random sampling process–the 2008 sample is actually the largest Orthodox sample in the history of random sample survey research.”

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