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Leading Off:

Demographics: You may be looking at the map below and frowning, wondering what the heck oddball historical election it represents:

Map of all 50 United States colored in by largest religious plurality in each state
(click for larger)

Well, it's nothing of the sort: It's all about religion. The red states are those where the plurality of adherents are Evangelical Protestants; the blue states are home to a plurality of Catholics. Yellow are Mainline Protestants, while green states have "Other" as a plurality, which clearly means Mormon in the three states in question.

But despite the topic, are you noticing any particular similarities between this map and the traditional "red" and "blue" states? Only four of the states with an evangelical plurality went for Barack Obama in the 2012 election (Florida, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington), and similarly only four of the states with a Catholic plurality went for Mitt Romney (Arizona, Louisiana, Montana, and Nebraska).

The data powering this map is from the Association of Religion Data Archives, which conducts a decennial census of the country's religious adherents, a topic that the Census Bureau doesn't address out of political concerns. It's worth noting that ARDA's numbers are limited only to persons who actually belong to congregations that they were able to contact. So in all but a handful of the most religiously-fervent states, "unclaimed" is a larger category than any particular religion, encompassing not just non-believers but also those not actively involved in a formally recognized religious movement. (Can't say that I care for the somewhat loaded phrase "unclaimed" either—makes it sound like lost luggage waiting to be picked up at the airport.)

Because of the way "unclaimed" dominates almost every state, I excluded it from this map. While offering a certain clarity, this decision also somewhat skews the results in those northwestern and New England states where the unchurched are most likely a plurality. For instance, you certainly don't think of the Pacific Northwest as being dominated by evangelicals—if anything, those states' red status speaks only to the even-greater absence of Catholics in those states. Nevertheless, if you're curious, the states with the highest "unclaimed" percentages are Maine, Oregon, Vermont, Alaska, and Nevada. We've also put together the entire data set as a publicly available Google Doc. (David Jarman)


IL-Sen: I won't be satisfied for sure until we hear it directly from the horse's mouth, but it looks like at least one veteran Democratic senator won't be retiring. The Chicago Tribune, relying on unnamed sources, says that Dick Durbin "is telling top Democrats he will seek a fourth term in 2014."

MI-Sen: In the wake of Dem Sen. Carl Levin's retirement announcement last Thursday, we're seeing the usual wintry mix of potential candidates declining, expressing some interest, and just getting name-checked by the Great Mentioner. There's already a lot to discuss, so let's run through the entire field, starting with the GOP (in rough order based on interest level):

• Rep. Mike Rogers: "I am giving the Senate race serious consideration"

• Former SoS Terri Lynn Land: "Looking at it"

• Attorney Scott Romney: Reportedly "looking at" it, "according to a Michigan GOP source with first-hand knowledge" (and yes, he's the brother of Mitt)

• SoS Ruth Johnson: "Focused on her current job"

• State House Majority Whip Pete Lund: "I'm not ruling it out at this point"

• Rep. Fred Upton: "Never say never"

• Rep. Dave Camp: "I'm not going comment"

• Former MI GOP chair Saul Anuzis: "I haven't had a chance to look at it"

• Attorney General Bill Schuette: "I've got plans to keep working as your Attorney General for six more years"

• Lt. Gov. Brian Calley: "No plans to run"

• Rep. Candice Miller: "I will not be a candidate"

• 2012 candidate Clark Durant: "I will not be running next year"

• Former AG Mike Cox: "I've still got to make some college tuition money"

• Amway heir Dick DeVos: Will not run

• Former MI GOP chair Betsy DeVos Will not run

NBC's First Read also suggests a bunch of other possibles, some of which we've seen before, and none of whom have apparently said anything publicly one way or the other yet since the Levin news broke: Rep. Justin Amash, University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon, ex-Gov. John Engler, state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, and University of Michigan regent Andrea Fischer Newman. There's also state Sen. Roger Kahn, who had actually expressed some interest last year when it still looked like Levin might run again.

Mercifully, the list of Democrats is a lot shorter:

• Rep. Gary Peters: "I'm definitely going to give this full consideration"

• Ex-Gov. Jim Blanchard: No plans to run

• State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer: "I'll rule out three things now: governor, U.S. Senate and pope"

For a blue state, Michigan seems to have a surprisingly small Democratic bench, and only a handful of other prominent names have circulated: ex-Rep. Mark Schauer, ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and DNC committeewoman Debbie Dingell, the wife of Rep. John Dingell. Peters, though, would almost certainly be Team Blue's strongest candidate, so it's good to see that he sounds so serious about the race. Miller was probably the GOP's best hope, so Dems can breathe a sigh of relief, but Rogers would be a legitimate opponent as well. There was even talk a little while back of President Obama possibly naming him as the new head of the CIA; the post ultimately went to John Brennan, but perhaps Rogers is eager to get out of the House.

Meanwhile, poor PPP had a Michigan poll in the field just days before Levin made his decision not to run again which of course was rendered immediately obsolete by the news. But it's not entirely without its uses, because PPP looked at the favorables of various GOP alternatives, and their toplines against Levin can be used to judge their relatives strengths:

The one who came the closest to Levin was Candice Miller, although she still trailed him 46/35. She has good statewide favorability numbers with 33% of voters rating her favorably to 25% with an unfavorable opinion.

No one else came within 15 points of Levin. Justin Amash has a 9/20 favorability rating and trailed Levin 49/34. Mike Rogers has a 16/19 favorability rating and trailed Levin 49/33. Bill Schuette has a 20/25 favorability rating and trailed Levin 51/32. And Roger Kahn had a 5/15 favorability rating and trailed Levin 50/30.

One other Republican who we didn't test on this poll but could potentially be a good candidate is former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. in December 2010 we found she had a 36/21 favorability rating and trailed Debbie Stabenow by only 4 points in a hypothetical contest.

In any event, we'll undoubtedly hear much more in the coming days and weeks, and we'll be keeping track of all developments, so leave you dial tuned to Daily Kos Elections.


AZ-Gov: His name had come up before on lists of possible Republican candidates, but now Mesa Mayor Scott Smith confirms that he's taking a "very, very close look" at next year's gubernatorial race. (Last cycle, he considered a bid for Congress but never pulled the trigger.) Smith sounds like he might be a quirky fit for the Arizona GOP, though, having expressed some hostility toward the state's punitive anti-immigration laws and tentative support for increased background checks for gun buyers. I'm not sure how he'd win a primary like that, but Arizona has some quirky dudes.

MN-Gov: We already knew Norm Coleman wasn't going to seek a rematch against Al Franken; now the Republican ex-senator confirms he won't run for governor, either. Consider this a good day.


SC-01: Pre-primary fundraising reports are out for the South Carolina 1st District special, and the Washington Post has some highlights. On the GOP side, ex-Gov. Mark Sanford took in $334K over the last couple of months, but Teddy Turner actually beat him with $376K, though $245K was from his own pockets. And indeed, all of the notable current and former state legislators running—Sen. Larry Grooms, Rep. Chip Limehouse, and ex-Sen. John Kuhn—have all loaned themselves six figure sums ($100K, $400K, and $500K, respectively).

Meanwhile, the lone noteworthy Democrat in the race, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, raised well, pulling in $310K with over $200K on hand. She's also out with her first ad, a semi-biographical spot that focuses on jobs and, in particular, her experience in the local shipping industry. Sanford also has a new spot (his third), focusing on fiscal conservatism, while Kuhn has an ad (available at the same link) attacking Sanford, Grooms, and Limehouse all together for allegedly supporting a "a massive earmark spending bill." Unlike in the recently-concluded IL-02 primary, there's actually been quite a bit of action on the airwaves here, so if you'd like to see a complete roundup, the Cook Report has you covered (PDF).

Grab Bag:

Arkansas: Roll Call's Joshua Miller visits Arkansas on the paper's around-the-country tour of each party's "farm team" in every state. What's frustrating, as you'll find when you click through, is that there are still quite a few plausible Democrats in many parts of the state who could make legitimate runs for Congress—indeed, Miller cites a whole bunch by name—but it seems like no one actually wants to pull the trigger and take on any GOP incumbents.

Indeed, the only hope Team Blue seems to have is in the 4th, but only if freshman Republican Tom Cotton runs for Senate. Even the 2nd, which is the state's bluest district thanks to the presence of Little Rock, isn't attracting much interest. My feeling is that it'll only become harder and harder for Democrats to win any federal seats in Arkansas as time marches on, so if I were gonna make a run, I'd want to do it soon.

Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal of HuffPo Pollster has periodically chipped away at the many flaws surrounding Gallup's polling that surfaced before and after last year's election; now he's put together a pretty definitive overview of everything that might have gone wrong for the once-vaunted firm that's well worth a full read. You've probably heard the main contentions before, especially that Gallup's overly-restrictive likely-voter screen turned away younger voters who wound up voting. It also has some new insights into their sampling techniques, though, like their decision to switch to calling landlines only from electronic directories. Trying to save money on random-digit dialing means missing entirely households with unlisted landlines and no cellphone: a small segment of the population, but a decidedly pro-Obama one. (David Jarman)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Religion and politics: Maine, New Hampshire (10+ / 0-)

    and Vermont constantly vie for the title of the Least Religious State in the Nation. It's usually one of the three when polled. All three have marriage equality. All three also have a goodly portion of Republican voters. We reversed a "people's veto" on our legislature's marriage equality bill in November by about the same margin that were against in 2009. I suspect the key was weak opposition from the Catholic Church (which here in Maine bankrupted itself both morally and fiscally in the last fight) and weak presence on the ground of people "from away" like NOM. Fortunately, conservative religion has a tenuous hold here in this State and if you look at many of our elected Republicans in the legislature, you'll find they are less obsessed with sex and women than their counterparts in the South and West.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:17:44 AM PDT

  •  Not to get too technical, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Gygaxian

    Utah is the only green-colored state to have a Mormon majority. Idaho has a narrow Mormon plurality of about 22% if Protestants are counted separately by their denomination. Wyoming has about an 11% Mormon population and is either plurality Protestant or Catholic depending on how Protestants are counted.

    19, FL-07 (school), MD-07 (home). UCF sophomore, politically ambitious, vocally liberal--what else could you need to know?

    by tqycolumbia on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:22:27 AM PDT

  •  Maybe some on DailyKos could lighten up on (12+ / 0-)

    continually attacking/ridiculing Catholics and the Church as a seemingly reflex action given the above map.

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:42:57 AM PDT

    •  Thank You! n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, greenbell, Patate

      “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

      by RoIn on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:19:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not particularly impressed (5+ / 0-)

      The ones that Democrats get their majorities from are the ones who aren't the strongest adherents, and in my experience, many of the strongest people who attack the Church are, themselves, Catholic.

      Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

      by NMLib on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:21:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No real Scotsman, eh? (0+ / 0-)

        We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

        by bmcphail on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:14:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm an Atheist, as my signature implies... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, Palafox, happymisanthropy

          So I don't pretend to be a Catholic, but I can say say that my mom, uncle, and aunt were all raised Catholic, and none of them have much good to say about the Church.

          My point was only that there are plenty of practicing Catholics who have no problem questioning the Church and calling bullshit when they see it.

          Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

          by NMLib on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:20:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, sort of a Catholic value (0+ / 0-)
            . . .there are plenty of practicing Catholics who have no problem questioning the Church and calling bullshit when they see it.
            Contrary to the opinion of many both inside and outside the Church, it is not, and has never been, quite as monolithic and authoritarian as the movie version.  It is a pretty big tent.

            We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

            by bmcphail on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, some could take that approach (0+ / 0-)

      while an alternative would be to re-double efforts to the contrary.

    •  Funny, I was raised in an evangelical protestant (9+ / 0-)

      church that reserved to itself the title "THE" Church.  Catholics were going straight to hell, as were Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, beatniks, rock and rollers, and every protestant evangelical church other than "THE" Church.

      Perhaps "THE" Church, of whatever stripe, would find itself less subject to ridicule if it humbled itself to "A" Church and stopped trying to tell us it and it alone knows what is on God's mind at any given moment in time.

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

      by ZedMont on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:22:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny thing about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As a Mormon, I've been taught that every single church (and even non-religious forms of morality) has a bit of truth in it, and that all of them have good, righteous people, with excellent and moral practices, but that they don't quite have the whole story. We teach that things have been lost throughout the years, whether forgotten or corrupted by Satan.

        We also reserve our version of "hell" for those who know the "truth" and have rejected it, so basically just the worst of the worst and very wicked Mormons.

        I'd say we have a lot more diplomatic version of "you're going to hell".

        Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

        by Gygaxian on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:15:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell me, how does one "know" the "truth?" (0+ / 0-)

          Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

          by ZedMont on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:24:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's why I put "truth" in quotes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I was trying to explain that, according to LDS theology, that's how we view other faiths, and to what kind of afterlife we think their followers will go.

            I wasn't trying to say that I think every other faith is lying, I was just trying to point out what the religion I believe in (but am not fundie about) teaches.

            Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

            by Gygaxian on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:23:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I knew what you meant. "Know" is the operative (0+ / 0-)

              word in my comment.

              Thousands of religious groups believe many stories, often mutually exclusive stories, and others believe nothing at all, but nobody knows anything.

              But I get what you mean.  Mormons who once professed to believe what the faith teaches as "truth" but who for whatever reason decide that they no longer believe it, are the ones deemed to be going to hell by those who are self-delusional enough to think they actually "know" an unknowable.

              Just like in my old religion, full of nuts who, by the way, thought you people were nuts.

              I, to my church's dismay at my consignment of myself to eternal hell, was not convinced I ever had reason to "know" anything at all about God other than on the basis of what I had been told by people no more capable of knowing the "truth" than myself, and so, like the Iris DeMent song, I decided to just "Let the Mystery Be."  Actually, I was incapable of doing anything else.  I could have said I was capable of believing I knew the truth, but if I had, I would have been lying.

              Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

              by ZedMont on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:27:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I must miss those diaries (3+ / 0-)

      honestly I do not see that as systemic.

      •  I see a lot of them (9+ / 0-)

        And it really troubles me.  I grew up Roman Catholic, and for all the church's warts I refuse to leave it.  I believe that a lot of Catholics vote Democrat because of the church's teachings on social justice.  Just the thing that guys like Glen Beck hate us for.  The hate that gets spewed here against Catholics only serves to drive us away.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix

        by Dave B on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:44:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just how do you leave it? (0+ / 0-)

          Since the only way I know of is excommunication?  When you are baptized in your infancy you are counted as a Catholic and included in the numbers no matter that you change religions, or decide you have no religion when you are older.
             As a result of this I notice in Vermont where I live, the Catholic Churches have many fewer masses on Sundays than when I was a girl, and there are very few people in the pews when they do have them.  So where are all the Catholics???
            The numbers are suspect, I am unaware of any way to drop out and delete your number other than being excommunicated.  If you know another way I would like to hear it.
             Otherwise, non practicing Catholics, converts to other religions, and converted athiests are still counted in the Catholic total numbers.

          •  You Register with a Parish (0+ / 0-)

            My parish knows who is and who is not a member.  And they make sure and mail out offering envelopes every month & that your children get religious instruction.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix

            by Dave B on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:28:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I also see a lot of them (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patate, Whatithink, Dave B

          And I'm to the left of most on economic issues.  I do not object to diaries that object to the Catholic Church's interference on policy issues, i.e., the diaries that are political.  But many of the diaries have nothing whatever to do with politics and certainly nothing to do with electing Democrats like the Kennedys, Harkin, Pelosi, Kerry, Biden, and their followers.  Nope, the diaries are just an excuse to spew religious intolerance.  Were they aimed at Muslims they'd be seen for what they are.

    •  "Catholics" and "The Church" aren't the same (7+ / 0-)

      The Catholic Church (the establishment with an enclave in Rome) is a political entity (witness how much money they commit to US politics, often in violation of their tax exempt status).

      Ridiculing Catholics per se is imbecilic and borderline bigoted.  However, the Vatican and the Catholic Church's leadership, who are active participants with an agenda in the political system and economy of the US and elsewhere, are fair game.  And you will find, I suspect, that the most outspoken detractors of the Vatican are practicing Catholics.

      •  That's a nuance we don't always see here on dKos (0+ / 0-)

        There are other places where you can see a more nuanced criticism that distinguishes between the Vatican leadership and rank-and-file Catholics. Nick Kristof of the NY Times is a very good example.  Even Maureen Dowd clearly distinguishes between criticism of the Vatican or particular bishops and ordinary Catholics who don't share the views of the hierarchy.

        It would be nice to more of this nuanced, clear-thinking approach here.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:55:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Unclaiming" or "non-claiming" would turn that (0+ / 0-)

    baggage equation around.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:04:17 AM PDT

  •  Observation: No matter what part of the country, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, raboof, commonmass

    the coastline of every state is Evangelical Protestant.  They must be expecting the rapture to start on cruise ships and they don't want to be "left behind."  So far apparent attempts at rapturing cruise line guests have failed due to some technical malfunction that resulted in norovirus outbreaks that only made them wish they were dead.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:12:56 AM PDT

  •  Religion & Politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the correlation between "evangelical protestantism" and politics isn't scary enough, take a look at the inverse relationship between evangelical protestantism and education level by state!

  •  Another use for this map (4+ / 0-)

    A few years ago my local newspaper magazine published a similar map, but it was much more detailed, being broken down by counties (at least).  The entire south was a dull yellow, except for southern Louisiana, which was bright red.  A friend looking at it said "I know what this is, it is a map of where to get good food in the US".

    So there are relationships between religion and things other than politics.

  •  Odd mishmash of churches in those classifications (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Looks like it's really classified by the presumed politics of church members.  That might just explain the correlation of church to Obama voters.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:28:34 AM PDT

    •  What? (0+ / 0-)

      Click the link to the study. It's a survey of religious observance, not politics. There's not exactly a lot of debate in terms of whether to classify a someone as Catholic or evangelical. There isn't any gray area.

      Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

      by David Nir on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:11:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think there's a substantial gray area (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        between mainline and evangelical protestants, no?

        Your end of the Constitution is sinking.

        by happymisanthropy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:58:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I went to the study. (0+ / 0-)

        Catholic is easy.

        It's the mainline vs evangelical protestants that's a mishmash.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:04:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's pretty well accepted... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that there's a relatively clear distinction between Evangelical and Mainline Protestant denominations. The problem is that there's a lot of crossover among the membership: Evangelicals attending Mainline congregations (not so much going the other direction). This can muddy the water considerably for those particular groupings. That probably helps explain why there's no significant correlation between Mainline Protestant adherence and Obama voting.

          "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right" - Thomas Paine

          by grothenberger on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:18:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? Did you look at the lists? (0+ / 0-)

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:54:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry if I've offended. (0+ / 0-)

              That was not my intention. Yes, I've looked at the ARDA lists. As I've mentioned in another comment in this thread, it's one of my favorite sites. The sociology of religion has been a special interest of mine since my undergraduate days (so long ago). It's one of the most respected websites related to the academic study of religion (particularly in the US) on the web. It's been listed as one of the best free reference websites by the American Library Association since 2010. As I said, I wasn't trying to offend anyone, merely pointing out that ARDA is using the standard academic definitions of mainline and evangelical Protestant as they currently apply in the US. The groupings are, after all, based on theological criteria, not political. That makes them less useful for what was done here than they might be, but not useless (in my opinion).

              Anyway, since I don't know what your specific disagreement is with either the evangelical or mainline Protestant groupings, I don't really know how to respond, other than to apologize if anyone was offended by my comment. I'll try to be more clear in the future.

              "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right" - Thomas Paine

              by grothenberger on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:24:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Flawed poll imo. (0+ / 0-)

    "It's worth noting that ARDA's numbers are limited only to persons who actually belong to congregations that they were able to contact. "

    Hey, let's completely cut out asking atheists anything at all, or even those evil non-church goer types!  I'd be more curious to see this map with a more realistic breakdown.

    •  The poll isn't flawed... (0+ / 0-)'s just incomplete for some purposes. I'd love to see a voting breakdown against the recent Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Unfortunately, even it's not really complete (16% unaffiliated, broken down as 1.6% atheist, 2.4% agnostic, and 12.1% "nothing in particular"). And I haven't been able to find that broken out at the state level. If anyone knows of a recent survey with atheists and agnostics down to the state level, I'd love to know about it.

      "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right" - Thomas Paine

      by grothenberger on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:26:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As usual, we Unitarians are considered "other" (0+ / 0-)

    No surprise that much of the Austin area is "unclaimed".

    Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

    by loblolly on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:03:35 AM PDT

  •  Correlation isn't causation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, Odysseus

    I can do a similar map showing easy access to broadband, and with the exception of Florida the correlation is the same. (Florida is a blue state when the "powers" don't mess with the right to vte.

    When folks don't have access to open information in an easy way they tend to be more influenced by the money boys. When things are tough, the influence of the dominionist types of religious leaders is higher.

    There are undoubtably other underlying causes. Ethnicity is also an issue.

    What causes folks to cling to fundamentalist faiths may be the same insecurity that leads them to march like sheep to the GOP drum.

    •  Excellent point: (0+ / 0-)
      What causes folks to cling to fundamentalist faiths may be the same insecurity that leads them to march like sheep to the GOP drum.
      Whether by nature or nurture a "fearful" personality in my experience tends to cling to certainties, something provided by fundamentalist faiths and politics. Combine that personality given by nature with nurture that encourages fear of the "outside" and "other" and you have the kind of adult I occasionally run in to here in the suburbs of D.C. making statements such as "Aren't you afraid to go in there?" and whose children have never been to the zoo or museums. I've heard of parents very fearful of letting their kids go on school field trips to the monuments and such. In personal experience these people often have advanced, but narrow educations, were never exposed to anything but a monoculture as kids and tend to be more religious than others I meet.

      The maps are interesting in a blunt instrument generated look. They would be more interesting with other factors added and at county levels. For example, throw in education—though now we have highly "degreed" people whose education is from fundamentalist degree mills to contend with.

      I would expect more detailed maps to support TP/GOP political tilt as a symptom of a number of these factors, including religion, rather than a cause.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:46:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree and expand (0+ / 0-)

        I grew up about 23 miles from Downtown Detroit. Many of the students had never been south of 20 mile road, and couldn't imagine going to the art museum, the Opera House, the Fox Theater or even to a festival on the riverfront. They lived their entire lives in "the country" and in fear of "the other" who live in Detroit.

        •  Same here. (0+ / 0-)

          I was born and raised in Livonia.  But my parents loved all of the things in Detroit you mentioned, in addition to the Heidelberg Project and John King Books.  So I went downtown a lot as a kid.  Learned to not be that afraid of it.

          I remember during my first year at MSU, I went to see the White Stripes at the Masonic Temple.  When I got back to school the next day and told my friends (one of whom was from Saline, the other from the western side of the state) about it, they were both shocked that I would've gone to Detroit at night.  Why would I do that?

          I gave a pretty simple answer: I like the White Stripes, and wanted to see the show.  I thought nothing of it.

          To this day, I'm still not afraid to go down there.

          •  Used to take the bus (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Dude 415

            from 23 and Jefferson downtown to Hudsons, then lunch at Sanders--when I was about 15! Loved it.

            •  Hudson's was way before my time, unfortunately, (0+ / 0-)

              though I WAS there when they imploded it.  I was ten or eleven when that happened.

              My only experience with Sanders as a location rather than just a brand was the Sanders location they used to have at the Livonia Mall when I was a kid.  I have fond memories of it.

              Even now, there's more to the city than many outsiders realize.

              •  Those women with the white gloves... (0+ / 0-)

                ...who pushed the buttons on the elevator for you :)

                There was NOTHING you couldn't buy at Hudsons--that you really ought to have in the 1960s.

                I went to my first anti-war rally in downtown Detroit, my first civil rights seminar...Detroit is still a great community. When M&M did that ad two years ago and Hit Mile Marker 45 on I-75 I didn't know whether to cheer or cry.

  •  Evangelical Protestants and Other have a (0+ / 0-)

    Forward All chain email that is so crazy. Talk about garbage in / garbage out. That is where they get their news. They believe it. My cousin believed she was getting her forwards from someone she knew in the Department of Homeland Security. She might well have been.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:25:30 AM PDT

  •  Western Minnesota is predominantly Lutheran (0+ / 0-)

    It is surprising that entire Minnesota is Catholic. Western Minnesota is heavily Lutheran.

    •  Eastern Minnesota (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Was settled also by Germans and Irish also Polish.  The area St. Cloud is very conservative German Catholic but St. Paul is Polish and Irish and very Catholic.   I took a city planning tour in St. Paul years ago and they drove around identifying areas by Catholic parish, the Catholic settlement was so integral to how the city developed.  Even Edina I believe wears the green uniforms because it was pretty heavily Irish.  And how could you have a hockey tournament without all the Catholic high schools?

      •  There's a strong correlation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Jarman

        between areas settled by Germans and voting for Republicans (St. Cloud, for example). Here's a map:

        And here's the areas that voted for McCain in 2008:

        Both German Lutherans (Missouri Synod) and German Catholics are conservative. And that Republican splotch is the heart of Michele Bachmann's district.

        "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

        by Dbug on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:47:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The map is also showing settlement patterns (0+ / 0-)

    Most of the northern Midwest was heavily settled by Germans and also Irish and Polish.  The Protestants settling here were northern European also German and Scandinavians primarily Lutherans and also Methodists.  

  •  Need new term for "Mainline Protestant" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RainDog2, Christopher Walker

    There are so few of them now.  

    Maybe "Oldline Protestant" would be more descriptive.

    I'm a Lutheran and I don't think they are ever going to bounce back.

    •  Still plenty of Lutherans in Northern Midwest (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Dbug

      In fact the Lutheran Church was instrumental in defeating the anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota.   The success of the campaign against the amendment was partly due to their being able to split the Lutherans from the Catholic and fundamentalist supporters.  This was a superb example of positively using religion as a wedge.  Instead of taking the example of so many here and just bashing the Catholic opposition they largely ignored that and instead courted the Lutherans, Unitarians, Episcopalians, UCC and made their message positive.

    •  I think they can, if they act strategically. (0+ / 0-)

      I think there's a real hunger, particularly among younger Americans who are spiritually inclined, for churches that don't bend over backward trying to be "relevant" with more guitars and rock-star worship led by guys with soul-patches, but rather that find ways to breathe new life into the traditional liturgies while standing for social justice, acceptance, and radical love.

      The church I attend, for example, has seen dramatic growth in its young-adult population in the last five years precisely because we have a history of doing just that.

      More and more evidence is coming out that right-wing evangelicalism is a phenomenon primarily among Baby Boomers. As their generation gives way to the later generations, evangelicalism will decline in power and prominence. The mainline churches are in an excellent position to replace it, if they're willing to take the risks involved (such as pissing off a few of the blue-hairs) with taking advantage of the opportunity.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:33:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're right (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure if they need to approach things "acting strategically", but you're right that the Mainline Protestant faiths have something to offer.  I'm a high church Anglo-Catholic style Episcopalian, and I joke with my pastor that the day I see a Praise Band is the day I look for another church!  Pairing together a traditional service with a progressive world view really can appeal to a wide range of especially young people.

      •  religion & boomers? (0+ / 0-)

        Right wing evangelism is due to the boomers?    Thanks for the laugh of the day. Those 60s hippie freak commie atheists have magically morphed into evangelical tea party crazies. We are the original liberals and the most hated generation for a reason - we brought down the corrupt Nixon government, MIC plutocrats and silent backers. But now, 50 years later, we're decrepit and "they're baacck" with a vengeance. It's up to the "young" people to deal with them - to take responsibility for their own beliefs, behaviors and actions and not blindly follow some charismatic con artist off a cliff in the name of "spirituality", fear or neocon politics. Quit whining. If you don't like your church, start your own. It would be as valid as any other. Better yet, grow up and open your eyes. Sorry - I get mad when people try to change history. With all due respect, you are misinformed. Talk to people who were there.

  •  Christianity brought down the Romans, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, pademocrat

    according to Gibbon, and the question is whether they will bag an even more powerful civilization.

  •  Unclaimed in Oregon, and I feel fine. (0+ / 0-)

    Great, actually.

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:16:36 AM PDT

  •  as an atheist (0+ / 0-)

    i want the black or white dot depending on your opinion to represent me on this map, thank you so much.

  •  Oregon (0+ / 0-)

    is as always a bit of an outlier....

    I'd honestly have to say that I have probably met a total of two evangelical christians in the last number of years here, but then again I don't stray too far outside of East Portland nowadays.    :)

  •  MI Senate (0+ / 0-)

    Now I realize that they are even more entrenched in the house than Rogers, but I think Camp or Upton might be even stronger candidates, and they aren't ruling out running. Upton especially, as he does have some moderations in his past. (Although, such might make it harder for him to make it through a primary.)

    Speaking of moderate candidates, (ha ha) I'd love it to be Walberg or Bentivolio who the GOP runs... But I think the MI GOP might be smarter than the GOP in some of the other states...

    Registered in NY-02, College CT-01, Spent most of the rest of my life on the border of NY-08 and NY-15

    by R30A on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:42:32 AM PDT

  •  Debbie Dingell (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know her views on all the issues that would matter to Democratic voters, but to the extent I have seen her and followed her career, I think she could be an excellent US Senate candidate. If she makes the race this would be one of the '14 elections I'd follow most closely.

    •  My only concern with Debbie Dingell, (0+ / 0-)

      which also extends to the possibility of her succeeding her husband, is that I worry that her running might seem a bit like nepotism, especially since Dingell himself inherited his father's seat.

      I would still vote for her, but I could see a lot of people voting against her out of an impression that she feels having a House or Senate seat is her right, as the wife of the longest-serving US representative.

  •  re: the map (0+ / 0-)

    I would recommend to people the book "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" by Colin Woodward.

    According to award-winning journalist and historian Colin Woodard, North America is made up of eleven distinct nations, each with its own unique historical roots. In American Nations he takes readers on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, offering a revolutionary and revelatory take on American identity, and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and continue to mold our future. From the Deep South to the Far West, to Yankeedom to El Norte, Woodard reveals how each region continues to uphold its distinguishing ideals and identities today, with results that can be seen in the composition of the U.S. Congress or on the county-by-county election maps of presidential elections

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:04:28 AM PDT

  •  There’s a similar religion map from Gallup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which I used in this diary: Three Categories of Red States (Fun With Geography) – Gallup says that in the dark green states, membership in a Protestant church (including both Evangelical and Mainstream) is over 70%. Here’s the Gallup map:

    Note that Virginia and Florida (which both went for Obama) are outside of the dark green area. Which suggests an explanation of why they’re outliers.

    Also, Oregon and Washington have two of the largest numbers of atheists (sorry, don’t have a link – it was in an article I read somewhere about five years ago). So I would argue they don’t belong in the section with a plurality of evangelicals (well, OK, according to the way you compiled the map, they do, but...). I looked at your spreadsheet. Both MS and WA have a plurality of evangelicals, but look at the percentages:

    WA evangelicals 12.20%, WA unclaimed 65.38% (and Catholic 11.66%)

    MS evangelicals 39.38%, MS unclaimed 41.26% (and Catholic 3.79%)

    In Washington, nearly two-thirds are unclaimed (which I assume means three possibilities: 1) non-Christian religions like Buddhism or Wicca, 2) atheists or agnostics, or 3) “None of your business” non-answer. In WA, evangelicals might be a plurality, but they’re nearly equal in numbers to Catholics, whereas in MS, evangelicals outnumber Catholics more than ten to one.

    I'm not saying you're wrong. Just saying the numbers should be examined a little more closely. You're absolutely right that evangelical strongholds tend to be more Republican.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:28:54 AM PDT

    •  Very interesting map (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All of those dark green states, except North Carolina, are the no-hoper states for Dems in presidential elections at this point in time.  The medium green states are divided between good prospects for Dems (Iowa, Ohio, Virginia) and states that are also no-hopers for Dems (e.g., Nebraska), suggesting that in those states there are other important population groups in play.  (E.g., younger suburban non-church-goers in Virginia, but ultraconservative rural non-church-goers in Nebraska.)

      Evangelicals would take issue with Gallup, I think, on the labeling.  Most of them reject the "Protestant" label (which traditionally was applied to almost all non-Catholic, non-Orthodox Christians) and many would prefer to either be called just "evangelical Christians" or "nondenominational Christians" if they have to be labeled at all.

      Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:07:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Map, very astute anaylsis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Also, the map suggests where we should concentrate our efforts to change Red to Blue.

  •  I find statisics (and religion) fascinating... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug I checked some correlations between rates of adherence for various groups and votes for both Obama and Romney (btw, ARDA is one of my favorite sites; glad to see it getting some time here). The religious groupings on ARDA are: Evangelical Protestant, Traditionally Black Protestant, Mainline Protestant, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Other, and "Unclaimed." I also ignored "unclaimed," since it's too poorly defined to be of any real use. Rather than plurality of professed members, I chose to look at rates of adherence (or professed members per 1,000 population). The strongest correlations I found (Spearmans Rank Correlation test) are:

    Catholic Christian and Obama vote: 0.590588
    Evangelical Protestant and Romney vote: 0.582715
    Orthodox Christian and Obama vote: 0.522717
    Other and Romney vote: -0.285692
    Orthodox Christian and Romney vote: -0.529595
    Evangelical Protestant and Obama vote: -0.574751
    Catholic Christian and Romney vote: -0.59448
    A positive number means that as the rate of adherence increases, so does the vote percentage for that candidate. A negative number is the opposite: as the rate of adherence increases, the vote percentage for that candidate decreases. I doubt anyone here is surprised by the relationship between Evangelicals and Romney voters, or (let's be honest) between Catholics and Obama voters. The Orthodox relationship surprises me a little, but only because it gets little attention. The real surprise for me is the negative relationship between Other and Romney vote. Since LDS make up such a large part of Other, I would have expected a more positive relationship. I suspect that's an artifact of how Other is defined. It not only includes LDS, but a lot of more traditionally Democratic-voting religious groups, such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Unitarian Universalists. I suspect if I were to test just LDS I'd see a positive relation between rate of adherence and Romney vote.

    Probably nothing useful, but it gave me an excuse to indulge myself in statistics for a couple of hours while doing laundry.

    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right" - Thomas Paine

    by grothenberger on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:05:20 PM PDT

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