November 12, 2013  Church-going people can expect to hear encouragement from conservative pastors to get involved in the upcoming mid-term elections.

The American Culture and Faith Institute has released the results of a survey among theologically-conservative pastors showing that close to half of those pastors (48%) said they will use the pulpit to “definitely provide strong encouragement to vote and to get involved” in the 2014 election.  Another one out of five conservative pastors (22%) said they will “probably” provide such encouragement to their congregants from their pulpit. In fact, only one out of every fourteen (7%) said they will “definitely not provide any encouragement or direction related to the election.”

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It is likely that most pastors will personally model the kind of behavior they are encouraging from their flocks. The survey discovered that 98% of theologically-conservative pastors are currently registered to vote. Three-quarters of them are registered as Republicans (73%), with smaller proportions registered as independent voters (16%), Democrats (4%), or aligned with other political parties (7%).

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“Many conservative pastors view the next few years as crucial to the future health and stability of American society,” explained Bill Dallas, CEO of United in Purpose, the non-profit under whose umbrella the American Culture and Faith Institute conducts its research. “As more of these pastors realize that the IRS cannot legally bully them into silence and submission, and they recognize and accept the significant role that pastors are called to play as cultural leaders, they are increasingly committed to taking public stands for biblical truth in national policy. The mid-term election will be a personal testing ground for many of them. We expect to see the number of conservative pastors encouraging congregants to become more politically aware and involved continue to rise through the 2016 election cycle.”

Methodology

The research among theologically-conservative pastors of Protestant churches was conducted by the American Culture and Faith Institute through two surveys. The first was conducted during March and April 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 370 theologically-conservative pastors. The estimated maximum amount of sampling error associated with that sample is +5.2 percentage points. The second survey was completed in October 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 249 theologically-conservative pastors. The estimated maximum amount of sampling error associated with that sample is +6.5 percentage points. The question regarding pastoral encouragement in the election process was asked in both surveys, providing a sample of 619 pastors for that question, resulting in a maximum sampling error estimate of +4.1 percentage points.

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