In the final days before the U.S. presidential election, the Pew Research Center has some timely updates on the changing religious profile of the electorate.
According to Pew, Christians are about 64% of registered voters. They were nearly 80% in 2008. What’s happening? Over that span, the share of voters who say they are religiously unaffiliated has gone from 15% to 28%. This is not just people dropping religion, it is a growing young cohort of voters who are more likely to be unaffiliated.
The decline has been especially pronounced among White voters. White evangelical Protestants are down from 21% of voters in 2008 to 18% today. White non-evangelical Protestants are down from 19% to 13%, and the share of White Catholics in the electorate fell from 17% to 12%.
Almost 80% of registered Republican voters are Christians, compared with 52% of Democratic voters. Democrats are about two and half times as likely as Republicans, 38% to 15%, to say they are religiously unaffiliated.
The Bias Busters team is working to bring out guides in the next few months on evangelical Christians and the religiously unaffiliated.