The Corner

Organizing the Atomized

A new poll finds that Trump is drawing heavy support from voters who are “civically disengaged”: who “report that they seldom or never participate in community activities—such as a sports team, book club, PTA, or neighborhood association.” Trump leads Cruz by 6 points among all Republicans and Republican-leaners in the poll, but by 26 points among these disengaged voters.

Yoni Appelbaum comments:

That gap parallels another much-remarked split, between Republicans who attend church on a regular basis, who tend to favor Cruz, and those who seldom or never attend, who back Trump. But the poll shows that religious attendance is not the whole story. “The singular focus on religious affiliation has masked the more general influence of civic integration,” said Robert P. Jones, who directed the poll for the Public Religion Research Institute.

That is, regular churchgoing may be a useful differentiator less because of its content—it tracks with religious beliefs—than because it signals that churchgoers are embedded within a vibrant community. 

(disclosure)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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