The Pew Research Center recently released research related to religion and voting practices. The research was compiled mostly from exit polling back in the 2012 presidential election where President Obama was reelected for a second term.

There were some interesting statistics related to conservative and liberal voting. In 2012 election, there was a republican candidate and a democratic candidate. According to the Pew Research Study, a conservative voted for the republican candidate, and a liberal voted for the democratic candidate.

The top 5 most conservative/republican leaning religious organizations or groups, according to exit polling are Mormons (79%), Baptists (64%), Nazarenes (63%), Presbyterian Church America/PCA (60%) and Lutherans-Missouri Synod (59%).

The top 5 most liberal/democratic leaning religious organizations or groups, according to exit polling are Atheists (69%), Buddhists (69%) Agnostics (64%), Jews (64%) and Muslims (62%).

Another item to consider was that the three major non-western religious organizations or groups voted very heavily liberal/democratic: Buddhists (69%), Muslims (62%) and Hindus (61%).

One final note is that those who identified themselves as least religious voted heavily liberal/democratic in the 2012 election: Atheists (69%) and Agnostics (64%).

As you read the entire study there are several clear take aways:
1) Denominations who have taken the highest view of God and God’s Word, or those denominations that are most committed to Scripture, voted heavily conservative or Republican in their voting patterns.
2) Denominations that have taken a more moderate view of God and God’s Word lean democratic or liberal in their voting patterns.
3) Non-western religions (Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus) lean heavily liberal or democratic in their voting patterns.
4) Those with no religious affiliation, Atheists or Agnostics, lean heavily liberal or democratic in their voting patterns.

After examining the voting patterns from the last presidential election, it is worth asking if Christians should vote at all. I believe without a doubt that every Christian ought to vote. Many Christians throughout history have not had the right to select his or her leaders. Therefore, I do not believe that we ought to neglect that privilege of selecting our leaders. However, in the last election about 40% of Christians chose Not to vote which is a sad and even unbelievable statistic.

Scripture is clear over and over again that the kind of leadership a nation has drastically affects the good that that nation can do, both for its own people as well as people from other nations. Proverbs 28:12 says, “When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.” Scripture not only points out that the greatest good can be done by a country when it has great leaders, but it also warns us that choosing the wrong leaders will bring judgment from God. Listen to these words from 1 Samuel 12:13-15, “ Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the LORD and serve and obey Him and do not rebel against His commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against His commands, His hand will be against you…”

So as we approach this upcoming election, remember not only with whom you will be voting, but also for whom you will be voting. Be prepared and do your research.

Have a blessed day!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D

If you would like to read the full research report, you can find it at:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/23/u-s-religious-groups-and-their-political-leanings/