Agnostics Are Democrats' Biggest Faith Constituency

| by Jimmy King
A protestor holds a sign in San Francisco, 2008A protestor holds a sign in San Francisco, 2008

Agnostics are reportedly the largest religious constituency of the Democratic Party.  The “none” religious group reportedly makes up 23 percent of the U.S. population, and is increasingly a dominant part of the Democrats’ support.

The group that tends to lean left is comparable to white evangelical voters’ role in the GOP, reports the St. Louis Post Dispatch. 

While the political clout of “nones” is historically low, with only 12 percent voter turnout, it may be rising.  The group of agnostic voters is not likely to become more religious with age.

Mark Rozell, a scholar of government and policy at George Mason University, said that the social liberalism of “nones” will likely move Democratic candidates further to the Left. 

“It will make a profound change in American politics in the long run.  Put up a candidate who challenges people’s right to love who they want and make decisions about their own lifestyles, and see what happens among the unaffiliated.  A lot of those issues go to the back burner,” said Rozell. 

Despite the “nones’” disdain for organized religion, many of their political priorities are geared toward making secular institutions more “moral”.

“We need a revolution at this point because corruption is so vast,” said Cheryl, a financial advisor.  “Nones” generally want to curb the influence of money in politics, grow the economy and lower college tuition, while they do not believe the government can be responsible for personal morality. 

Despite the growing role of agnostics in the Democrats’ support base, 34 percent of Democrats identify as religious, reports The Washington Post.

The large Democrat voting block lives predominantly in the South, is largely non-white and very religious.  While the religious Democrats are not as likely to support socially liberal policies like gay marriage or abortion, they strongly favor government welfare programs and spending to increase jobs. 

Sources: St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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