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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:19 AM

Who Are the Nones and Why Did They Vote for Obama?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacques-berlinerblau/who-are-the-nones-and-why-did-they-vote-for-obama_b_2611842.html



By early summer of 2012, many of us Faith and Values pundits were nervously asking an important and troubling question: Why were the Obama and Romney campaigns spending so little time and effort discussing God and religion on the campaign trail? Why?

It was an important question because this election cycle contrasted so strikingly with what we saw in the 2008 presidential campaign. That was an era of over-the-top, wear-your-faith-on-your-sleeves, can-I-get-a-witness! faith-based pandering from both Democratic and Republican hopefuls. It was a troubling question because it left experts in religion and politics with nothing to comment on in 2012, other than the economy (which most of us were uniquely unqualified to discuss anyway).

By "nones," social scientists refer to the religiously unaffiliated. In PRRI's rendering, they are comprised of three groups, which Cox refers to as "atheists/agnostics," "secular" and "unattached believers." A youthful cohort, these "nones" are now roughly one-fifth of the American population (though, as our guest points out, their election day turnout is somewhat underwhelming). Most importantly, they gave 70 percent of their ballot to the incumbent this past Election Day.

Now, let us return to the Mystery of the Missing God Talk. Could it be that Team Obama had figured out early on that the religiously unaffiliated were going to make a difference in this election? Might the president's strategists have also figured out that this group loathes faith-based pandering from officials seeking elected office? Could the president's studied de-emphasis of religious issues be attributable to his handlers' desire to not antagonize this surging voting bloc?

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Reply Who Are the Nones and Why Did They Vote for Obama? (Original post)
eridani Feb 2013 OP
FleetwoodMac Feb 2013 #1
NC_Nurse Feb 2013 #2
quaker bill Feb 2013 #3
JoePhilly Feb 2013 #4
Arkana Feb 2013 #5

Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:31 AM

1. I think it has much to do with Romney being a Mormon...

Had the Republicans opened the door, things may have ended up backfiring.

That said, religion was a very strong topic among the grassroots and online communities, simmering just below the boiling point.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:40 AM

2. As a "none" myself, I can vouch for the distaste for religious pandering.

I absolutely HATE that shit. I tolerated it in 2008 because I realized that it was necessary for Obama to reach out to the religious folks to get elected, but I'm glad he stopped this election. I find it extremely distasteful that there is a constant presence of religious reference in so much of our politics and I believe it gets in the way of rational thinking about our future. I was disgusted when the Dems caved to pressure at their convention and forced through the addition of God propaganda to their platform. What bullshit.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:01 AM

3. Ding Ding Ding we have a winner

Romney did not want to wear Mormonism as a candidate. Obama's voters were not going to be futher impressed by faith statements and the folks against him for a large part think he is a "secret Muslim". Finally there was no way for Obama to engage in faith statements without seeming to call out Romney as a Mormon, something he did not care to do (and probably would not have worked to his benefit).

It was not as much a "plan" as simply an issue that would not work this time around.

Faith will be back in the mix at some level, if the republicans pick a southern evangelical in 2016.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:00 AM

4. The media was protecting Romney from the Evangelicals.

For many Evangelicals, voting for Romney was going to be tough because they see Mormonism as a cult.

So the dilemma for them was this ... vote for the Muslim, go straight to Hell ... vote for the Mormon, go straight to Hell.

The media had to tamp down the religion angle or risk forcing all Evangelicals to stay home. The media understood that some Evangelicals would rationalize their vote for Romney, finding some excuse to make it OK to vote for a cultist. But this would only happen if the topic of Mormonism as Cult was not deeply discussed in the media.

Instead, they had Ralph Reed come on TV a few times, dodge the cult question, and then indicate that it was OK for a real Christian to vote for a Mormon. He was providing a ready made rationalization. An Evangelical could vote for Romney, and then when they die and go to be judged ... no problem, Ralph had said it was OK.

But that's as far as the media wanted to go. Go any deeper, and you'd have other Evangelicals reinforcing the "you'll go to Hell" viewpoint, and that simply could not be done.

This is also why the media dropped much of the "Obama is a Muslim" nonsense. Can't bring that up and avoid the Mormonism as cult angle.

So religion dropped off the radar.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:05 AM

5. I'm a "None"

and I voted for the President because, his Christianity notwithstanding, he didn't spend every waking moment making me feel like I was less than human because I don't worship the Christian God.

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