Communities

Religious Belief and Political Leanings: How US Religious Groups Vote

by Mike Albo

February 24, 2016
Image via (cc) Flickr user Yannig Van de Wouwer

87% of members of the National Baptist Convention vote Democrat, most Mormons vote Republican, and Catholics are politically divided. Those are some of the insights gleaned from a survey of US religious groups and their political affiliations conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Mormons are the most Republican-leaning group, and historically black Protestant denominations like the African Methodist Episcopal Church and National Baptist Convention are the most reliably Democratic. 64% of Jews and 62% of Muslims in this survey said they are Democrats. Interestingly, while most Buddhists lean Democratic, 16% lean Republican.

Three subsets of non-religious people are accounted for in the survey as well: atheists, agnostics, and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular.” All three of these groups lean Democratic as well.

The findings reflect similarities to exit poll data from the 2012 presidential election, where 95% of black Protestants said they voted for Democrat Barack Obama, while 78% of Mormons said they voted for Republican Mitt Romney.

And while all this remains predictable, it’s a mystery how religious belief will factor into this very unpredictable election year.

These findings were culled from the PEW Research Trust’s “Religious Landscape Survey” from 2014. The survey was conducted “among a nationally representative sample of 35,071 adults interviewed by telephone, on both cellphones and landlines, from June 4-Sept. 30, 2014,” explains their website.

You can further explore the relationship between religious affiliations and political beliefs of each group using the PEW Research Center’s interactive database.

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Religious Belief and Political Leanings: How US Religious Groups Vote