Forget the “God Gap,” the “Union Gap” is Bad News for Republicans

This bit from Nate Silver’s 538 blog at the Times is interesting: it looks like being a member of a union, or having a union member in your household, is more likely to make you vote Democratic for president. In fact, it’s about as likely to influence your decision as being an evangelical or attending church services once a week or better is to make you vote Republican.

Maybe we’ve been looking at the wrong gap all along?

Perhaps I’m just addled this morning, having had breakfast and coffee late, but I can’t help seeing this as bad news for the Republicans in the long run. It’s true that unions are considerably smaller than the evangelical population—about 11% of working Americans, compared to roughly 20-25% of the population that is evangelical—but as we know, religious practice is on the decline in the US*, and boy, it sure looks like organized labor has been mightily energized by the events of the past couple of weeks.

What’s more, the strongest correlation with voting is racial, not religious. Not only do blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic, but Hispanics—the fastest growing demographic in the nation—are trending strongly that way. In sum, to hell with religious outreach. Building union representation among Latinos is where it’s at.

Now, if I could only get “Young Girl” out of my head…

*This is a double-whammy for Republicans. It takes away from their base, and adds it to their opponent’s, since religiously-unaffiliated voters tend to go Democratic.

(Hat tip to Mark Silk via Twitter)