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Fri Nov 6, 2015, 12:33 PM

Non-religious voters present a puzzle for political parties

(RNS) Political candidates are facing a new reality: Within the Democratic coalition, there are more religiously unaffiliated voters than belong to any single religious group.

This is a significant change in American politics, where nonbelief has long been a liability.

Survey data show that Americans with no religious affiliation are a growing share of both major political parties. But the trend is particularly strong within the Democratic coalition, where the unaffiliated now represent 28 percent of those voters, according to a new Pew Research study.

Given their expanding share of the electoral pie, and their political alignment, some have argued that their rise bodes ill for Republicans and well for Democrats. Religiously unaffiliated voters, known as “nones,” showed their preference for the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, giving Barack Obama 75 percent of their votes, and 70 percent when he ran for re-election in 2012.

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The nones are also a difficult group for politicians to define and woo, said Dan Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute. They’re not cohesive, in that they include atheists and agnostics but also believers unattached to religious institutions. And unlike the pursuit of an actual religious group, it’s not so clear how to connect with the millions of people defined by their lack of religious connections.

“If I want to reach out to Jewish voters or African-American Protestants or Latino Catholics, I know where to go,” Cox said. “There are institutions where these folks congregate.” The nones, by contrast, have no presiding bishop, no pews, no holiday celebrations at which politicians can press the flesh.

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/11/05/nonreligious-voters-nones-political/

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Reply Non-religious voters present a puzzle for political parties (Original post)
cleanhippie Nov 2015 OP
DetlefK Nov 2015 #1
cleanhippie Nov 2015 #2
trotsky Nov 2015 #5
Goblinmonger Nov 2015 #3
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #4

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 12:45 PM

1. How about, you know, talking about political issues?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 12:54 PM

2. But how would they pander to those groups?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 03:28 PM

5. What? That's crazy talk!

We're talking about elections here! Who cares about the issues?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 01:22 PM

3. It's gotta be tough when you can't just dog whistle.

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 03:16 PM

4. The religious will disown any politician who tries to reach out to the nones

So the politicians won't even try, they know the nones are resigned to voting for religious panderers since there is basically no one else to vote for.

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