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Lack Of Religious Diversity Tracks With Trump Support In Recent Study

One of the most significant untold political stories this week comes out of the results of a study just released by the Public Religion Research Institute. The institute’s report, titled America’s Changing Religious Identity, included the following map.

electoral college religious diversity 2016

The map shows the state-by-state variability in religious diversity, using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. A higher number indicates a higher degree of religious diversity within the population of a state.

The PRRI didn’t put two and two together, but we here at Irregular Times are.

Guess what? The answer is four.

States that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election tended to have low religious diversity, when compared to states that voted against Trump.

election 2016 religious diversity

The office of the President of the United States is not a religious office, but the 2016 presidential election was determined as much by attitudes about religion as by attitudes about politics. Supporters of Donald Trump tend not to approve of the reality that the United States is becoming less religiously monolithic than it used to be. Only a minority of states in the USA have a majority Christian population.

3 thoughts on “Lack Of Religious Diversity Tracks With Trump Support In Recent Study”

  1. Bobby Richardsoh says:

    What a concept: 2+2=4. 🙂
    A Washington Post columnist (her name escapes me, sorry) recently did a series on the decreasing number of people who identify as ‘Christian’ (some form of…).

    Since the 60’s, something like 35% fewer people identify themselves as Christian; and that reduction is felt by many as a reduction in their power to control our society.
    Hence, with the increasing number of non-Whites in country, the current push to “Take Back America”.

    To which I reply “BREAKING – Native American Council issues blanket amnesty for 240 million illegal immigrants.” (shamelessly-stolen from a Twitter meme.)

  2. Dave says:

    So what’s your point, Rowan? The yellow bars on the graph you cite make it visually appear that non-trump voters have double the religious diversity of the trump-voters, when numerically this is not the case. Pretty sly graph. I would imagine that voters in trump-voting states eat more grits too. Still trying to get the point here.

    1. Rowan says:

      Sly, Dave? The numbers are shown quite clearly, on the side of the graph and on the bars themselves. What’s sly about that? The lowest state score in the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index is for Mississippi, at .454. The highest state score is for New York, at .827.

      That restricted range of just .373 makes the average state difference in religious diversity of .128 pretty substantial, something that wouldn’t be reflected if we just took the weird standard of “double” that you propose.

      States that voted for Trump tend to have less religious diversity than states that voted against Trump. That’s the point.

      The point is (as the article states) that the agenda of Trump voters appears to be associated with defense of Christian dominance. That’s a very different narrative than the one of economic struggle that most political writers concentrate on. In fact, most working class voters voted for Hillary Clinton, not Trump.

      If you don’t see the difference between an economic populist agenda and a religious agenda, well, that’s your thing.

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