'Nones' Say 2012 Election Proves They are a Political Force
Nationwide exit polls show that "nones," those who say they have no religious affiliation or do not believe in God, made up 12 percent of all voters -- more than the combined number of voters who are Jewish, Muslim or members of other minority religions (9 percent) and only slightly smaller than the combined number of Hispanic Catholics and black Protestants (14 percent), the Religion News Service reports. The nones skewed heavily Democratic, 70 to 26 percent, and atheistic and secular groups are celebrating the election results. Many see their muscle behind state victories for same-sex marriage -- a pillar of their agenda -- and the defeat of Florida's Amendment 8, which would have channeled taxpayer money to religious schools. "The numbers don't lie," said Lauren Anderson Youngblood of the Secular Coalition for America. "They are an indicator of our untapped potential..." According to an October study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, "nones" are now the fastest-growing faith group in America, at 20 percent of the population, or 26 million adults. "It may take another election or two before we are truly able to make our political mark," said Matthew Bulger of the American Humanist Association, "but have no doubt that day is coming."