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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Secular New Hampshire

Frank Newport writes at Gallup:
New Hampshire is the least religious state in the U.S., edging out Vermont in Gallup's 2015 state-by-state analysis. Mississippi has extended its eight-year streak as the most religious state, followed closely by neighboring Alabama.
 These state-by-state results are based on over 174,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking in 2015, including more than 480 interviews in every state and more than 1,000 interviews in most states. Complete results and sample sizes are shown at the end of the article.
Over the past eight years, New Hampshire and Vermont have vied for the bottom position on Gallup's ranking of the most religious states. This year, New Hampshire comes in two percentage points lower than Vermont, and those two states are significantly lower in religiosity than the next two states, also in New England: Maine and Massachusetts.

New Hampshire is in the national spotlight this week as the presidential candidates focus on next Tuesday's primary in the Granite State. According to entrance polls of Iowa caucus voters, Ted Cruz's win in the GOP caucus on Feb. 1 in Iowa was driven by his strong appeal to highly religious or evangelical Republicans -- who turned out in large numbers. Although Iowa as a state has only average religiosity, it is still significantly more religious than New Hampshire, suggesting that Cruz will have fewer evangelicals to bring out to vote in that state's primary.