The backing of voters who never attend religious services helped propel Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary election Tuesday while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar surprised many with a third-place showing aided by religious voters.
Nearly 3,000 Democrat voters in New Hampshire took part in exit polls after they cast their ballots. They were asked several questions about who they voted for, their identity, age, job, race, education level and even how often they attend religious services.
Among 11 percent of voters who say they attend religious services weekly, Klobuchar was the favorite even though she sits in sixth place in the Real Clear Politics average of national primary polling with just 4.6 percent support.
Klobuchar, a 59-year-old attorney, received just under 20 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, as of Wednesday afternoon. She was backed by 28 percent of voters who attend religious services each week.
Pete Buttigieg, a gay Christian and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who finished second in New Hampshire and won the Iowa Caucus, received 16 percent of voters who said they attend religious services weekly.
Meanwhile, 15 percent of weekly service goers backed Sanders and 14 percent said they voted for former Vice President Joe Biden, who finished fifth in New Hampshire. Just 8 percent of weekly service goers said they voted for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Warren finished fourth in the New Hampshire primary.
But among the 37 percent of respondents who said they attend religious services “occasionally,” Buttigieg (26 percent) was the favorite.
Twenty-three percent of “occasional” religious attendees said they voted for Klobuchar, 20 percent said they voted for Sanders and 14 percent said they voted for Biden.
Warren again struggled with this demographic as she picked up just 7 percent of support among occasional service goers.
Among the 51 percent of voters who said they “never” attend religious services, Sanders was the clear favorite as he won 34 percent of the demographic. Biden was least favored among those who never attend religious services with only 4 percent.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith