In U.S., (Non-)Religiosity and Political Preference Are Heavily Linked. That’s Terrible News For the GOP.

The team at the Washington Post had a clever idea when looking at the Gallup numbers that came out a week ago.

… Gallup released a 50-state study of the most and least religious states in the country. We took the data … and overlaid it with the 2012 presidential election results. Here‘s what we found. The 19 most religious states — ranked by Gallup as those who identify as “very religious” — all went for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012.

On the other end of the (religious) spectrum, the opposite is true. President Obama won the 14 least religious states in the country. He averaged 61 percent of the vote in those places; if you take out the District of Columbia, which Obama won with 91(!) percent, the president averaged 59 percent in the remaining 13 states.

The predictive power of religiosity in U.S. politics is uncanny.

Simply put: If you are attending religious services every week, you are very likely to vote for the Republican candidate for president in 2016. If you never go to any sort of religious service, you are going to be for the Democrat.

Even though I don’t particularly identify with either party (to put it mildly), the greatest discrimination against non-believers, and the most shameless assertions of Christian privilege, come from GOP extremists. So as an atheist, I welcome the Post‘s findings.

We know that the United States is growing less religious year by year. It seems to me that politically, one of two things will happen: The GOP tames or ousts its most obstreperous God botherers, or the party will continue to lose elections like it’s going out of style.

Either outcome would be a net win for non-believers.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.


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