Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Nones" Are Now America's Largest Religious Voting Bloc

On much more positive news, especially compared to the previous post, is that the "Nones" or non-religious are now the largest voting bloc in America.  It's a reality that is apparently lost on the Republican Party which is taking self-prostitution to Christofascists to shockingly new levels.  Indeed, Nones mow make up 21% of registered voters.  The next closest group is Catholics at 20% who tie with far less rational white evangelicals 78% of whom say they would vote for Donald Trump if the presidential election was held today per Pew Research Center.  The same Pew survey found that Nones are rallying to Hillary Clinton.  Stated another way, the evangelicals favor hate, bigotry and religious based discrimination while the non-religious find such misogyny unacceptable.  Here are highlights from the Wonk Blog:
More American voters than ever say they are not religious, making the religiously unaffiliated the nation's biggest voting bloc by faith for the first time in a presidential election year. This marks a dramatic shift from just eight years ago, when the non-religious were roundly outnumbered by Catholics, white mainline Protestants and white evangelical Protestants.
These numbers come from a new Pew Research Center survey, which finds that "religious 'nones,' who have been growing rapidly as a share of the U.S. population, now constitute one-fifth of all registered voters and more than a quarter of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters." That represents a 50 percent increase in the proportion of non-religious voters compared with eight years ago, when they made up just 14 percent of the overall electorate.
The growth of the non-religious -- about 54 percent of whom are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 23 percent at least leaning Republican -- could provide a political counterweight to white evangelical Protestants, a historically powerful voting bloc for Republicans. In 2016, 35 percent of Republican voters identify as white evangelicals, while 28 percent of Democratic voters say they have no religion at all.
[Unfortunately] Exit polls of people who actually cast votes -- as opposed to preelection polls of registered voters -- have traditionally shown that the unaffiliated underperform at the ballot box relative to their raw numbers. . . . Smith also points out that the unaffiliated tend to be younger than the religious and that young people tend to vote less than older people.
Still, the Pew study finds other evidence that religion may be becoming a less potent force at the ballot box. In 2008, for instance, 72 percent of voters said it was important for a president to have strong religious beliefs. That number is down to 62 percent today.
Similarly, Americans see religious institutions as playing a smaller role in the public sphere. In 2008, 75 percent said that churches and other houses of worship contributed a great deal to solving social problems. Today, that number has fallen to 58 percent.

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