Prior to Obama’s reelection, many in the black community were wringing their hands over whether black Christians would sit out the election due to their opposition to gay rights and abortion. As it turns out, black Christians weren’t nearly as big a factor in this election as were people without any religious affiliation.
The Pew Research Center points to people they call “nones”, those who are either atheist or agnostic, or who view themselves as spiritual rather than religious, as key to President Obama’s reelection. The key here is that these voters don’t view themselves as religious.
These “nones” account for 20 percent of the population and are younger and more socially liberal than the rest of the voting bloc. According to Pew’s polling, the “nones” helped propel Obama to victory in swing states where there were large blocs of religious voters, such as Catholics and Protestants in Ohio and Florida, who vote Republican.
Gregory Smith of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life tells NPR, “This really is a striking development in American politics. There’s no question that the religiously unaffiliated are a very important, politically consequential group.”
It seems that there are growing numbers of non-religious people and those people are aligning with the Democratic Party. Also, according to Smith, “nones” are “certainly less religious than those who say they belong to a religious group,” but may still be “believers.” Many of these people believe in God, but just don’t adhere to any sort of religion.