Bernie Sanders won a plurality of votes Tuesday among New Hampshire Democrats who never attend church or other religious services, while Amy Klobuchar did best among those who attend religious services regularly, according to exit polls.
Meanwhile, President Trump won 94 percent in the Republican primary among born-again/evangelical Christians, a demographic that comprised a third of New Hampshire GOP voters.
Sanders was declared the winner of the New Hampshire Democratic primary, with Pete Buttigieg finishing a close second and Klobuchar third. But the order was much different when examining Democratic voters’ religious habits.
For example, according to exit polls:
- Sanders won 34 percent among Democrats who never attend religious services, while Buttigieg (22 percent) was second among this demographic and Klobuchar (19 percent) third.
- Klobuchar won 28 percent among Democrats who attend religious services once a week or more, with Buttigieg (16 percent) second, Sanders (15 percent) third and Joseph Biden (14 percent) fourth.
- Buttigieg edged Klobuchar, 26-23 percent, among Democrats who occasionally attend religious services, with Sanders (20 percent) third and Biden (13 percent) fourth.
All total, 51 percent of New Hampshire Democrats never attend religious services. Eleven percent attend weekly or more, and 37 percent occasionally.
Sanders also won a plurality among Democrats who are very liberal and somewhat liberal, winning 48 percent and 26 percent, respectively, among those segments. Buttigieg (28 percent) and Klobuchar (26 percent) split the Democratic moderate vote.
The Democratic race overshadowed the Republican race, but more than 130,000 GOP voters nevertheless went to the polls, where Trump and former Mass Gov. William Weld were on the ballot. Trump won with more than 85 percent of the vote. Among white born-again/evangelical Christians, though, Trump did even better, winning 94 percent. That demographic comprised 32 percent of GOP voters, according to exit polls. The exit polls did not list data for non-white evangelical voters. Trump's vote total – more than 118,000 – is more than any incumbent president has ever received in a New Hampshire primary.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.