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Protestants loomed large in the NYC Democratic Party primary

Evangelicals are rising force in city politics.

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The exit poll conducted by Edison Research is based on a survey of 2,048 voters as they left 40 voting places throughout the city.

 

Protestants were the largest religious segment of voters in the Democratic primary, making up 31% of the voters. Because evangelicals make up the great majority of Protestants in the city, most likely the large majority of the Protestant Democratic voters are evangelical Protestants. Over two-thirds of evangelical Protestants are African American or Hispanic. Over one-third of evangelical Protestants reside in Brooklyn.

Catholic voters were the next largest religious segment of voters in the Democratic primary, making up 25% of the voters. The Catholic voters were less likely to vote in the primary elections. Most surveys have found that Catholics make up around 40-44% of the city’s population. Catholic charismatics, who were endorsed by Pope Paul II, are similar to Pentecostal Protestants in their values and voting behavior.

Jews were the third largest segment. Although Jews make up perhaps 10% of NYC’s population, 19% of the Democratic primary voters identified themselves as Jewish. The proportion of Jews who vote is significantly higher than that for the other main religious groups.

People who indicated another faith made up 9% of the voters in the Democratic primary. It is likely that about half of these voters are “other Christians,” which is a common identification among evangelical Asian Protestants.

Bill de Blasio scored well with all religious groups. He even outdrew Bill Thompson among Protestants, who was hoping to benefit from the large number of Protestants who are African Americans. Still, Thompson’s best draw was from among Protestant voters. De Blasio vigorously courted the evangelical Protestant vote by leading marches in favor of allowing churches to rent public school space to hold worship services in the off hours just as other community groups do. Thompson's support to the churches was not as visible. However, he weighed in with a promise to establish an office to liaison with the faith communities. Most evangelical Protestants saw Christine Quinn as opposed to their fair treatment. Quinn also drew her biggest margins of support in the wealthy precincts of Manhattan, an indication that her campaign was out of tune with the anti-elitist tone of this year's politics.

Quinn scored best among the Jewish voters, drawing 19% of their votes. However, De Blasio outdrew Quinn by two to one among Jewish voters. Thompson also scored higher than Quinn among Jewish voters, drawing 23% of the Jewish voters. She scored particularly low among Protestants and people of “Other religions.” This partly because the Protestants and “Other religion” Asian Americans are more likely to reside in the outer boroughs, not Manhattan.

The figures are based on an exit poll conducted by Edison Research of 2,048 voters as they left 40 voting places throughout the city. The statistical variation can be as much as +/- 4 percentage points. Also, there is some unknown variation of accuracy because of refusals to participate in the exit poll. However, this doesn't mean that people who refuse to fill out questionnaires are religiously different from those who do fill out the questionnaires.

 

The exit poll conducted by Edison Research is based on a survey of 2,048 voters as they left 40 voting places throughout the city.

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