By Annie Laurie Gaylor
Secular voters could very well determine the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections.
The ranks of atheists, agnostics and those with no religious affiliation – “the Nones” – have increased by 19 million since Barack Obama was first elected president, making them the fastest-growing group by religious identification in America. In 2004, the Nones comprised just 16 percent of all American adults, but have now grown to a represent roughly a quarter of all adults and a third of millennials.
The Nones have been traditionally underrepresented at the ballot box, but that’s changing. The religiously unaffiliated accounted for 15 percent of voters in the 2016 presidential elections, a 3 percentage point increase since 2012. The coming election will quite possibly see a further uptick in this number.
“Religiously unaffiliated voters, who may or may not be associated with other civic institutions, seem most excited about supporting or donating to causes, going to rallies, and expressing opinions online, among other activities,” states a recent Atlantic magazine analysis. “Political engagement may be providing these Americans with a new form of identity.”
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