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The Most Important Religious Category Of The Primaries, The Non-Religious, Doesn’t Break Down As Cleanly As You Think

Mar 9, 2020

By Daniel Schultz

It’s been noted that Bernie Sanders’ youth revolution failed him on Super Tuesday. It’s not so much that young voters stayed home, contrary to the headline on at least one article. In real numbers, more young voters turned out this year than in 2016 in most states. (The two exceptions were Alabama and, embarrassingly, Vermont.) But because so many older voters surged to the polls, the youth vote dropped as a percentage; in other words, its rate of growth didn’t keep up that of older voters. Appropriately enough, Teen Vogue put it best:

As expected, Sanders won big with the young voters who did show up, but the youth vote continues to be outnumbered by older voter turnout across the country.

Even that might be somewhat generous. As USA Today notes, Sanders won a smaller share of the under-thirty demographic than he did in 2016 in several states.

It’s worth noting this shift in a religion-and-politics column because young voters also tend to be less religious voters. By any measure, the younger an American adult is, the less likely they are to be attached to faith in terms of belief, self-declared importance, or religious practice.

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