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It’s true Oregon has an unusually high percentage of people who say they’re unaffiliated or not religious, and Obama did very well with that group (a point emphasized by William Schneider last night on CNN). One imagines a massive movement of tree hugging Wiccans and Taoists flooding the polls. But the novelty of that can obscure a few other interesting points about the religious breakdown in Oregon.
First, Obama did just as well among the religious as he did among the irreligious. Among weekly churchgoers, Obama won 57% to 42%, almost exactly the same results as among those who never went to church (58% to 42%)
Third, he won Protestants who attend church weekly, 54%-45%. Since the exit pollsters don’t ask about the evangelical vote in Democratic primaries — because everyone knows there’s no such thing as a Democratic evangelical — we don’t know for sure whether part of his appeal was to evangelicals. But, according to the Pew Religion Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey, Oregon has more evangelical Christians than the national average. More evidence that Obama may do well among evangelicals in the fall?