This is a very interesting article, with a fun twist for poll watchers and political junkies — but I’m not going to spoil it for you! Here’s the evocative part about atheists:
The Hill— Fresh Gallup data make it clear that President Obama is hemorrhaging support among white atheists. The president’s vote is down 10 points since 2008 among whites who profess no religion—more than among any segment of non-Hispanic white voters, except single white men and non-Christian whites.
Atheists and non-Christian whites constitute some 13 percent of the overall electorate. Almost one in five white voters fell into this category in 2008. Put differently, this vital segment was as large as the African-American vote in 2008, and larger than the Latino vote. Consider another data point revealing the growth of this movement: A few years ago, Publishers Weekly reported that sales of atheist books were outstripping those of religious books. If any more confirmation of the trend were needed, Wiley & Sons will soon be publishing Atheism for Dummies.
Not sure if the author is talking about a real poll there, or if he is, who all would be included in Non-Christian whites. But even if we are only five to ten percent, we have more voting power than I thought. And if that number goes higher, say near 20% over the next decade, and turn out is high among our group, that is a serious political force to be reckoned with.
I remember listening to a climate change author speak to NRN a few years ago. He pointed out that we can argue about messaging and strategy, or raise hell about our opponents, we can make elegant speeches or write a bestseller. But to enact and enforce laws aimed at defined goals that can change the world, the only sure-fire winning strategy is to win elections and win them consistently.
There are a lot of differences between progressives and conservatives these days, but when it comes to religion the leaders of both appear as two but damn near speak as one. Wouldn’t it be great, and immensely entertaining, if politicians had to pursue our votes and endorsements the way they go after others? When it comes to the religulous, they do vote, and as a result both our elected officials and their challengers endlessly profess their undying admiration and often brag about their personal relationship with a magic invisible sky wizard. One party presumes to know exactly who the sky wizard wants in office and has been pretty damn successful running that con for years.
If you are an atheist and have not registered to vote, or you’re thinking about not bothering to vote, what are you waiting for? A Miracle? The Immaculate Election? A rousing Rage Against the Machine video? The latter I can provide …