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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:38 PM

Will atheists decide the next election?

http://www.examiner.com/article/will-atheists-decide-the-next-election

The presidential election is over and the Pew Research Center has released new data on November 7th, which suggests that there may be a new voter bloc on the rise. The religiously unaffiliated might have decided this election and will almost certainly decide the next election.

The religiously unaffiliated made up an estimated 12% of voters in the 2012 election based on exit polling. This number was unchanged from the 2008 election despite the fact that religiously unaffiliated Americas increased significantly since then. This indicated that many religiously unaffiliated Americans felt disenfranchised this election cycle and decided not to vote in this election cycle.

Out of those religiously unaffiliated Americans who did vote, 70% of them voted for Barack Obama compared to only 26% for Mitt Romney. Even despite the fact that many atheists have lost their enthusiasm for the president.

...

If the Democratic Party could get more religiously unaffiliated Americans to the polls, that would certainly help them in the next election. But if the Republican Party could appeal to more atheistic voters, they would be cutting into one of their opponent’s most loyal voting blocs. Plus, if trends continue, it is likely that in 2016 there will be even more religiously unaffiliated Americans. Whether or not those unaffiliated Americans become religiously unaffiliated voters could very well swing the next presidential election.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Will atheists decide the next election? (Original post)
trotsky Nov 2012 OP
rzemanfl Nov 2012 #1
lyingsackofmitt Nov 2012 #2
rug Nov 2012 #3
LAGC Nov 2012 #21
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #4
Starboard Tack Nov 2012 #5
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #6
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #8
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #9
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #10
rug Nov 2012 #11
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #12
rug Nov 2012 #13
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #14
rug Nov 2012 #15
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #16
rug Nov 2012 #17
trotsky Nov 2012 #19
dimbear Nov 2012 #7
Angry Dragon Nov 2012 #18
Promethean Nov 2012 #20
dmallind Nov 2012 #22

Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:50 PM

1. The GOP really appeals to me when they use "God" in every second sentence.

Last edited Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:37 PM - Edit history (1)

As my grandfather said about the 1960 election "I will vote for Kennedy even though he is Catholic, but I bet he wouldn't vote for me if he knew I don't go to church."

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:54 PM

2. As long as it isn't the mormons. nt

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:12 PM

3. How does nonbelief affect politics?

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:10 PM

21. Knee-jerk reaction against the more religious party, perhaps?

There's no doubt about it that the R's are far more married with their religious beliefs and politics than the D's are.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:13 PM

4. I like the term "religiously unaffiliated". You called it "atheist"

I am both, but of the two, "unaffiliated" is a more accurate description because "atheism" implies I believe something. Instead the supernatural is irrelevant to me. I don't believe it exists so I don't give it a minute's thought most days.

Another way to define this demographic is people who highly value knowledge, education, facts, and reason, and that is not incompatible with a person having some religious beliefs as well. One might have thought that should be pretty near 100% of the population , but we know that isn't the case.

I think we will do better if we focus on people who highly value knowledge, education, facts, and reason. We can be sure we'll get no competition from the GOP on that one. It isn't necessary to have a litmus test as to whether a person believes in the supernatural as long as they have the view that here on Earth, the important things are knowledge, education, facts, and reason. No point in arguing about what may or may not exist in the supernatural. We can't prove anything and it doesn't really change what we have to do here.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:41 PM

5. Well said! nt.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:49 PM

6. Actually, "atheism" is quite explicit; lack of belief.

It doesn't mean you believe something, it means one lacks belief in a god. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:45 PM

8. Atheist implies you don't believe something.

But as a self proclaimed atheist, you should know that.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:58 PM

9. Then you cannot define a demographic group around it

Any more than you can define a demographic to be "People who don't have cousins named Clara"

I guess you can do it, but it is pointless.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:04 PM

10. Sure you can: people who don't believe in gods.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:24 PM

11. Which means precisely what, politically?

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Response to rug (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:29 PM

12. It doesn't have to mean anything other than its identity.

A demographic group doesn't have to "mean" anything more than what it is. What does the set of "bald men with ear hair" mean other than the set of bald men with ear hair?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:33 PM

13. I tend to agree but that belies the premise of the OP.

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Response to rug (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:42 PM

14. Not really. It could happen that the bald men with ear hair demographic

could be the deciding factor in national elections.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:43 PM

15. If that were the case, the reason would not be baldness.

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Response to rug (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:27 PM

16. Back to the premise of this thread

I don't see how dividing people into those who believe in the supernatural versus those who do not has any political relevance. It seems like we would just be creating animosity for no good reason.

The characteristics of atheists that are relevant are the adherence to reason and a belief that religion should not enter into public policy. And many believers share those characteristics most of the time. I would turn the question around to be:

How can we reach out to the religious who have a sense that the fundamentalists are creating a real mess of our society?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:41 PM

17. I'm not an atheist.

To answer your question, people who want to keep religion out of government should just look around and see who's with them, join together and stop those who do want it. Crowing about belief or nonelief is not only irrelevant, it's annoying.

I don't think we disagree.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:32 AM

19. No, I didn't.

I didn't write this. Someone else did. I just posted the title, a link, and an excerpt.

And by the way, "atheism" doesn't imply you believe anything. It just means you reject the claims of theists. That's all.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:33 PM

7. There's a good chance the next presidential election will be a woman against a man.

Atheists would just sit that out due to well documented sexist issues. You read it here first.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:08 AM

18. How about we just let the people decide the next election

no matter their beliefs

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:01 PM

20. re:

It isn't that being "religiously unaffiliated" or not decides directly how you vote. It is the way the people who ask you to vote for them act in regards to religion. Unfortunately in the US we are forced to decide from only two options. One option has a long and recorded history of not just acting sympathetic to the strongly religious, which wouldn't be offensive, but of making their policy based on religion.

Even that wouldn't be much of a problem if they didn't always seem to choose religious tenants that have nothing to do with compassion or empathy. There is a strong focus on silly rules the breaking of which cause no harm to anybody. Take the "issue" of homosexuality. How does two people you will never meet having sex affect your life? It doesn't. There is no possible way it can. However there are religious people who insist on reducing homosexuals to 2nd class citizens because they are doing one thing the religious disagree with.

Now if you say cheating others of their money is wrong I am all with you. I don't care if your justification is that you believe it is harmful to people and shouldn't happen or if your God says its wrong.

As to the topic of a ban of religion in government. Those who would support such a thing are referring to my first example of the discrimination against homosexuals. If the only justification someone can make for a law is that god says it is wrong, then it has no place in public policy.

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Response to trotsky (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:25 PM

22. No. Not for decades; generations perhaps. Not even close. nt

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