Religious groups voted along usual lines

Nones’ made up 17% of 2018 electorate, the highest percentage ever.

Midterms chart

An analysis of the 2018 midterm elections by the Pew Research Center shows that there was strong continuity in the voting patterns of many key religious groups.

White evangelical or born-again Christians backed Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives at about the same rate they did in 2014, while religiously unaffiliated voters (known as “Nones”) and Jewish voters again backed Democratic candidates by significant margins.

About 70 percent of the Nones voted for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, which is nearly the same as the share of religious Nones who voted for Democratic candidates in 2014 and 2010.

Pew Research analysis of the religious composition of the 2018 midterm electorate shows that 17 percent of voters were Nones, the highest ever. Nones were 12 percent of the electorate in both 2014 and 2010.

Three-quarters of white voters who describe themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians voted for Republican House candidates in 2018, according to National Election Pool (NEP) exit poll data. That’s close to the share who did so in midterm elections in 2014 (78 percent) and 2010 (77 percent).

The 2018 midterm exit polls showed a small shift in Catholic voting patterns. Catholic voters were pretty evenly split: 50 percent favored the Democratic candidate for Congress, while 49 percent favored the GOP’s nominee. In the past two midterm elections, Catholics leaned toward Republican candidates by margins of roughly 10 percentage points.

Among Protestants, 56 percent voted for Republican congressional candidates and 42 percent backed Democrats. Among those who identify with faiths other than Christianity and Judaism (including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and many others), 73 percent voted for Democratic congressional candidates while 25 percent supported Republicans.

Voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week backed Republican candidates over Democrats in their congressional districts by an 18-point margin. Those who attend services less often tilted in favor of the Democratic Party, including two-thirds (68 percent) of those who say they never attend worship services.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of voters in 2018 were Protestants, down from 53 percent in 2014 and 55 percent in 2010.

There was little change in the share of voters who identify as Catholic, Jewish or with other faiths. And the 26 percent segment of voters who were white and identify as born-again or evangelical Christians is similar to other recent midterm elections.