Is the Surge to the Left Among Young Voters a Trump Blip or the Real Deal?

Is the Surge to the Left Among Young Voters a Trump Blip or the Real Deal?

Thomas Edsall writes for The New York Times about the profound implications of changing U.S. demographics. Edsall notes that in 2012, white evangelicals made up the same proportion of the electorate as the religiously unaffiliated (roughly 19% each), but today, PRRI finds the white evangelicals have fallen to 13.6%, and those with no religious affiliation have surged to 26.8%. However, PRRI’s president and founder, Robert P. Jones, notes that in recent elections “Key white Christian subgroups — which strongly supported Trump and Republicans — were significantly overrepresented in the electorate.” Edsall concludes that both millennials and Gen Zers have become decidedly less conservative over time, with today’s American and British 35-year-olds rank as the least conservative in recorded history.

A Year After the Uvalde Massacre

Edgar Sandoval for The New York Times reports on the one year anniversary of the Uvalde massacre that killed 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers in one of the deadliest school shootings in American history. Sandoval highlights that what made the Uvalde attack extraordinary was not just the death toll, but the decision of law enforcement to wait more than an hour to confront the gunman. Several months prior to the attack, Texas lawmakers didaway with permit requirements to carry handguns and since the shooting, Texas has moved to widen access to firearms. “Almost a year now, and honestly nothing has changed,” said Jesse Rizo, the uncle of one of the massacre victims. The Washington Post found that of the nearly 200 responding officers from state and local agencies, around 180 remain in law enforcement.

Republican Senator Tim Scott’s Vision for America

Joan Greve for The Guardian reports on the launch of Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign this week. While Scott’s chances of success appear slim, Greve writes that his strategy for winning the Republican nomination is offering a positive message that contrasts with the “vengeful worldview” embraced by former President Trump to Republican voters, including white evangelicals. In March, PRRI found that 62% of white evangelicals held favorable views of Trump. “I think it’s going to be pretty heavy lifting for Senator Tim Scott, or really any candidate aside from Donald Trump, to gain a lot of loyalty from white evangelical voters,” said Melissa Deckman, the chief executive of PRRI.

‘Big Earth Energy’: A New Era of Nature Spirituality Is Here

Michelle Boorstein for The Washington Post describes what experts say is a broad wave of nature-focused spirituality and religion that’s changing both traditional religious denominations in the United States as well as the vast realm of religiously unaffiliated seekers. Almost 27% of Americans say they are religiously unaffiliated, according to PRRI, up from 16% in 2006. PRRI also finds that the nones now account for a larger share of the population than any faith group and make up 38% of those 18 to 29. Boorstein writes that many are looking for a spirituality that’s first about affinity, self-growth, and healing. One person quoted, Rain Manarchuck, stated: “This is: Get together, connect with nature. That’s it. It’s what religion should feel like.”

What’s Buzzing?

Read PRRI’s new report “Religion and Congregations in a Time of Social and Political Upheaval” here. Follow PRRI on Instagram for more.