The recent midterm elections show similar patterns in religious voting to 2010, but there was a significant shift away from the Democrats among non-Christian voters and among Christians who are regular church attenders, writes Mark Silk on his blog Spiritual Politics (Nov. 5).
Silk notes that the exit polls showed that much of the “religious layout of the electorate looks almost identical to the last midterm election in 2010, and not much different from the 2012 presidential election.” For instance, in 2010, Protestants voted Republican 59 percent to 38 percent, while this election it was 60-38. The only significant difference from 2012 came from the Catholics who voted narrowly Democratic but in November it was 54-44 Republican.
While Jews stayed strongly Democratic in the midterm elections, those from “other” religions, including Muslims, Hindus and other faiths, voted two out of three for the Democrats; in 2010, it was three out of four. “And given that their proportion of the vote increased from 8 to 11 percent, that was not a trivial number of votes,” Silk writes. Although the religious proportion of the electorate did not change much, the non-affiliated vote remained at 12 percent—lower than their actual demographic strength.
Those voters who said they attended religious services once a week or more voted 58-40 Republican in 2010, 59-39 Republican in 2012, and 58-41 this year. Silk concludes that this shift may show that “charges of an Obamaite ‘war on religion’ by evangelical and Catholic leaders have gotten through.”
(Spiritual Politics, http://marksilk.religionnews.com)