A Secular Voices Survey Analysis
Voter Registration Status
The Secular Voices Survey report “Secular Identity, Supernatural Belief, and the Road to 2020” found that a large share of secular Americans are undecided or prefer to vote for a candidate that does not belong to one of the two major parties. There are a few ways in which we can dissect this particular data point. Today I will focus on voter registration.
A majority (57 percent) of secular Americans report that they are registered to vote, about one-quarter (26 percent) say they are not registered to vote, and roughly one-fifth (19 percent) are not sure about their voter registration status.
The vote intentions of secular Americans indicate that a large segment is still unsure who they will support for President in 2020. A similar portion prefers someone who does not belong to one of the two major parties. These preferences vary substantially when taking voter registration into account.
Interestingly, the differences do not translate to support for Donald Trump. Thirteen percent of all secular Americans report a preference to reelect the President in 2020, and this support does not vary depending on a person’s self-reported voter registration status.
Vote Intention by Voter Registration
What varies considerably is support for a Democratic candidate. Among registered secular voters, more than one-third (36 percent) favor a Democrat over Trump (13 percent). Among those who are not registered to vote the Democratic advantage shrinks to nine percentage points (23 percent vs. 14 percent). Among those who are not sure of their registration status, the Democratic candidate and Trump are virtually tied (13 percent vs. 12 percent).
Secular Americans are also very consistent in their preference for a candidate outside the main two parties regardless of their registration status. Support for another candidate ranges from a low of 25 percent among registered voters to a high of 32 percent among those who are not sure about their registration status. What declines, as support for a Democrat increases, is the proportion of secular Americans who say they are unsure about whom to support in 2020.
Among registered voters, support for Democrats increases by eight percentage points compared to secular Americans overall while the percentage of unsure voters declines by six percentage points.
Support for a Democrat among secular Americans who report that they are not registered to vote is five percentage points lower than secular Americans overall. Conversely, the proportion of people who are unsure about their 2020 preference increases seven percentage points among people who are not registered to vote.
The proportion of secular Americans who are unsure about their 2020 preference is 12 percentage points higher than among secular Americans overall while the share of Democratic supporters declines by 15 points.
A significant portion of secular Americans is not sure which candidate they will support in the 2020 Presidential Election. While it is common for people to be undecided at this stage, given that the election is more than a year away, an analysis of preferences by voter status shows that those who are registered to vote are less likely to be undecided. Registered secular voters prefer a Democratic candidate over the reelection of President Trump by nearly a three to one margin (36 percent vs. 13 percent). This ratio is consistent with recent voting trends among secular Americans. As the election nears and people pay more attention to the campaign, these numbers should shift.
Previous Secular Voices Survey Publications: