Last week Gallup released polling data on religious belief on a state-by-state basis and Chris Cillizza identifies a very interesting and predictable fact: The most religious states voted unanimously for Mitt Romney in 2012 and the least religious states voted for Barack Obama.
The 19 most religious states — ranked by Gallup as those who identify as “very religious” — all went for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012. (Romney won 24 total states.) In those 19 states, President Obama averaged 39 percent of the vote. Here are those 19 states.
On the other end of the (religious) spectrum, the opposite is true. President Obama won the 14 least religious states in the country. He averaged 61 percent of the vote in those places; if you take out the District of Columbia, which Obama won with 91(!) percent, the president averaged 59 percent in the remaining 13 states. Here are those 13 states (and the District)…
The predictive power of religiosity is nothing new. Going back to 2000 — the first time they began asking the question on the exit polls — the Republican nominee has won among those who attend church weekly by 20 points or more. The one exception is 2008 when John McCain beat Barack Obama among weekly churchgoers by 12 points.
This certainly isn’t a surprise. But as Americans become less religious, the Republicans have to be concerned about that.