America’s shifting demographics has also created a new standard in religion and political affiliations. A recent Public Religion Research Institute poll revealed that fewer “than half of Americans are white Christians, a precipitous decline fueled by rising ethnic diversity and a new generation far less likely to affiliate with any religious group.” While not surprising, as daily evidence has suggested this for years, it is interesting to view this change from a political landscape.
According to The Hill, when looking at the millennial generation, members are “much more likely to identify as unaffiliated with any religious group than any previous generation: More than one third of those between the ages of 18 and 29 say they do not belong to a specific religion.” This new normal creates a new political atmosphere that will continue to evolve over time.
Just 29 percent of self-identified Democrats say they are white Christians, down from half of all Democrats a decade ago. The Republican Party remains dominated by white Christians: Just under three quarters of self-identified Republicans are white Christians, and more than a third, 35 percent, call themselves evangelical Protestants. Almost half of white evangelical Protestants identify as Republicans. Nearly half, 44 percent, of Mormons are Republicans. Younger Christians tend to align more with the Republican Party, while older Christians, which still lean to the right, are nonetheless more likely to favor Democrats.
States that are greatly affected by the new diversity include California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Florida. New York, Maryland and New Jersey, all of which have a minority of white Christians. The Midwest and middle America are the last regions with their majority still in tact. As the country continues to evolve expect battleground states to shift and political demographic leanings to change as well.