What do the numbers tell us about how the faithful voted in 2014?

 

By Dave Andrusko

electionresultspoll3Although the election was almost three weeks ago, there is still plenty to ruminate on, especially when you take second and third looks at national exit polling.

Chris Cillizza is a political reporter for the Washington Post whose pieces are often fluff for President Obama, although of late he has come down hard on Mr. Obama. He just wrote a piece, “The 7 most fascinating numbers in the 2014 national exit poll,” which, particularly as updated, is worth posting about. Here are a couple of numbers of interest to us.

  •  “4,” which is

the margin that Democrats beat Republicans by among women in the national House vote. That’s a significant decline from President Obama’s winning margins among females (+11 in 2012, +13 in 2008) although it’s an improvement from the 2010 midterms when Democrats actually lost the women’s vote by a point. Still, the massive focus by Democratic candidates across the country on the supposed “war on women” being conducted by the GOP quite clearly didn’t convince large numbers of female voters to abandon the GOP.”

Cillizza is convinced that if Hillary Clinton is the 2016 Democrats’ presidential nominee, 2014 will prove to be an aberration and women will flock to vote for another woman. To put it mildly, this is a huge leap of faith.

  •  “62,” which is

the percentage of the vote for Democrats among those who said they “never” attend any sort of religious services; Republicans won just 36 percent among that same group. Compare that to the 18-point edge Republicans enjoyed over Democrats among those who go to some sort of religious service weekly and you see that one’s religiosity continues to be one of the most reliable predictors of how you’ll vote. Consider yourself a religious person or, at least, someone who attends religious services regularly? There’s a strong likelihood you are voting Republican. Not a church-goer? You are voting Democratic.

This wasn’t in the hyperlink to the Post story, so I assume it’s the Pew Research Center results. Cillizza is correct as far as he goes, but note the accompanying graph from Pew reproduced above.

In 2006 the breakdown among those who “never” attended religious services was 67% voting for Democrat to 30% Republican. In 2014, it was 62% to 36%.

The 37 point advantage for Democrats was now 26.

A couple of numbers Cillizza didn’t highlight.

In the 2014 electorate, 61% of married men and 54% of married women voted Republican. Conversely, 60% of single women voted for Democrats. Among single men, the breakdown was almost exactly even: 49% voted for Democrats, 48% for Republicans.

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How about Obama’s influence? Exactly a third said the “one reason for your vote for the U.S. House today” was “to express opposition to Barack Obama.” Another 19% said it was “to express support for Barack Obama.” (As you would expect, almost all of the former were Republicans, almost all of the latter were Democrats.)

He had an impact in 2014. And no matter who his party’s nominee is in 2016, Mr. Obama’s “legacy” will play a role in two years.