Pew Forum Non-Shocker: The ‘Religiously Unaffiliated’ Lean Democratic

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life put together a slideshow explaining the trends between religious groups and political party identification.

There’s nothing in it you couldn’t have predicted yourself, but here are a few of the highlights:

The “Nones” need to be more like Black Protestants — we’re only about 2:1 in favor of the Democrats while they’re more like 9:1.

11% of the Republican or Republican-leaning voters are religiously unaffiliated:

24% of the Democrat or Democrat-leaning voters are religiously unaffiliated — which is why they ought to being paying more attention to us:

These results can go two ways. First, as long as religious groups dominate both pie charts, we’re not giving either political party a great reason to pay attention to us. On the other hand, when religiously unaffiliated voters make up a quarter of the Democrats’ audience, they ought to be far more inclusive of us than was evident in their speeches at the DNC.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • kaydenpat

    Does religiously unaffiliated mean atheist?  I assume that atheists would have to be organized to actually have any influence in either party like the Congressional Black Caucus.  I don’t think just voting for a party would be enough to get them to listen to your concerns.

  • Harmony Seeker

    Republican/unaffiliated may be fiscal conservatives?

  • Octoberfurst

      Of course this doesn’t surprise me at all. Why would religiously unaffiliated people belong to a party that is becoming more and more like a Christian version of the Taliban?  A party that is anti-contraception, anti-gay, pro-creationism, pro-prayer in public schools—-I could go on and on. I don’t get why an atheist would support the GOP. I really don’t.

  • ortcutt

     “Religiously unaffiliated” means just what it says, unaffiliated to any religion.  Some are atheists, some aren’t.  As an atheist, I don’t want an Congressional Atheist Caucus.  I’d like a Congressional Secular Caucus of legislators committed to separation of church and state, whatever their religion might be.  Barry Lynn is a UCC minister, but he still heads Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

  • MegaZeusThor


    To some extent, if people are asked specific questions about issues, and really drill down into sub topics, you’ll get some “I don’t know”s and maybe consider other points of view. But we like to keep things simple and use short hand, because it kind of works.

  • Guest

    A good portion of those 11% are libertarian atheists.

  • Squirrel88

    Agreed. I couldn’t spend any time whatsoever watching the GOP convention, just cannot swallow that BS hour after hour. It continues to amaze me that in this moment of time, the 21st century, we have so many people still clinging to such superstitious nonsense. When will we ever grow up?

  • Octoberfurst

     That’s fine. But they should be supporting the Libertarian party not the GOP.  The GOP has many policies that would be anathema to any Libertarian. Sure they may love their fiscal policy but everything else would be abhorrant to them.

  • thorny264

    I think the simple answer is that these atheists either don’t like gays/women or simply don’t care about any social issues. Or maybe bought up to believe certain things like no sex before marriage or anti choice.

    In honesty I never met a republican or pro life Atheist so I can’t really give a solid answer and I hope to keep it that way.

  • Octoberfurst

     I agree. Republican Atheists are like white rainbows. I know such things exist but I have never seen one in real life.  LOL.

  • Good and Godless

    republicans are mostly the demographic i thought they were and most republicans have no idea what the true demographics of the Democrats. 

  • Arthur Byrne

     Ayn Rand was also an atheist.

  • Chuckie38

    The Green Party US,, or registering to vote as an unaffiliated voter is really the way to go for the non-religious progressive. 

    The Green Party does very well in many parts of the United States at the local level and does not accept corporate funds as the Dems and GOP do.

  • Gustav

    Many, like myself, have supported Ron Paul’s attempt to bring Libertarian ideals to the GOP. Now that he has done what he could, I’ll go back to my roots and vote Libertarian.

  • DougI

    If there are gay Republicans who vote in favor of taking rights away from themselves I’m not surprised there are Atheist Republicans who like religion being forced upon themselves.

  • Octoberfurst

     I guess it must be a masochism thing. I happen to be a gay rights supporter and when I read some of the stuff put out by organizations like GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans I just shake my head in disgust.  They grovel at the feet of people who despise them and, like a battered spouse, keep making excuses for the horrible things the GOP says about them and tells everyone that the GOP really loves them. It’s crazy. They bash their allies and lick the boots of those who want to stomp on their necks. So I guess it wouldn’t surprise me either that there are atheists out there who think that people who demonize them and want to cram their religion down other people’s throats are just swell .

  • Deanna

    Exactly, Harmony Seeker.  My parents and their best friends are non-religious and registered Republicans, as well as my in-laws.  (They won’t go so far as to call themselves atheists.)  They are Republicans because, “they have worked hard all their lives and nobody has helped them, they are tired of people on welfare, blah blah blah”.  I was trying to get my mom and her best friend to think about how the Republicans are handling women’s rights, and my mom’s friend looked me in the eye and said, “I’d rather see a woman get an abortion in a back alley than let Obama stay in office for four more years.”  I was devastated.  Just because you don’t believe in any God does not make you a Democrat.