More Problems for Obama: Irreligious Americans Less Likely to Vote

A new poll released on Monday from Public Religion Research Institute finds that Americans who are unaffiliated in their religious views or who are less religious are less likely to head to the polls this election season. If the findings from this survey hold true, it could spell troubling news for the Obama campaign since voters who are less religious are more likely to support the president.

Americans who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated are the fastest growing segment in America’s religious landscape. The annual PRRI survey found that 19 percent of Americans consider themselves part of this group. However, only 7 percent say they were raised in a religiously unaffiliated household.

Interestingly, President Obama, who has said he is a Christian, has a substantial lead among the religiously unaffiliated with 73 percent of those polled, while only 23 percent of that group say they support Mitt Romney, who is Mormon.

Americans who are affiliated to a religious group are much more likely to vote than those unaffiliated to a particular religion by a margin of 73 to 61 percent. For this reason, President Obama could be losing votes if the religiously unaffiliated choose not to vote in large numbers.

“The majority of Americans who are now religiously unaffiliated were raised in a particular faith,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI Research Director and report co-author. “Their reasons for leaving vary widely, ranging from a rejection of the teachings of their childhood faith or a fading belief in God, to antipathy toward organized religion, to negative personal experiences with religion or life experiences generally.”

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