Sobering poll on Millenials’ attitudes towards atheism

Hemant has a poll showing that the religiously unaffiliated (who don’t necessarily identify as atheists or agnostics) overwhelmingly support Democrats politically, to almost the same degree that Evangelicals support Republicans. This prompts Hemant to ask, “Why aren’t the Democrats reaching out to secular Americans?” (if secular Americans are so supportive of Democrats?)

The reason, I think, is shown in the second poll Hemant displays, which he tries to put a positive spin on but which is really quite sobering (if accurate). It shows that 52% of American “millenials” (the 18-25 demographic) would be uncomfortable with an atheist president. The only group that does worse on that measure is Muslims. By contrast, 61% of millenials say they would be comfortable with an evangelical president.

I admit, I find this surprising, given that other polls have found that Christianity has strongly negative associations among young people. But if this data is accurate, it’s a reminder to atheist activists that we can’t just sit back and wait for the new generation to take over running things and count on that to be an automatic “win” for us.

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