A number of commentators have pointed out the advantage for President Obama among the religious “nones,” people who have no religious affiliation who now make up almost 20% of the US population, in the 2012 election. Here is another look at the voting gap:
— In Ohio, Obama lost the Protestant vote by 3 points and the Catholic vote by 11, but he won the “nones” — 12 percent of the state’s electorate — by 47 points.— In Virginia, Obama lost Protestants by 9 points and Catholics by 10 points, but won 76 percent of the “nones,” who were 10 percent of the electorate.
— In Florida, Obama lost Protestants by 16 points and Catholics by 5 points, but captured 72 percent of the “nones.” They were 15 percent of the electorate.
Similar results were seen in states including Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania…
Nationally, Obama lost the Protestant vote by 15 points, won the Catholic vote by 2 points, and captured 70 percent of the “nones.”
If the late 1970s and 1980s were about the rise of conservative religious voters, the Moral Majority and all that, are the 2010s going to be about the rise of the “nones”? While the article cautions at the end that religious switching is common in the United States, I haven’t seen commentators or political types address this question: how could Republicans change their pitch to attract more of the “nones”?