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America’s Largest Denomination: None

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2019

Helmut Norpoth*
Stony Brook University


By a measure of religious affiliation used by Gallup polls for nearly a century, the denomination with the largest following in the United States has always turned out to be “None,” ahead of Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, or any other faith. The existence of such a large flock without religious affiliation might be expected for a country with a Constitution guaranteeing freedom of and from religion. The secular portion of the American electorate has always been big enough to wield, potentially at least, political clout. Its partisan attachments have consistently favored the Democratic over the Republican side. What is limiting the electoral clout of the “Nones” today is that nearly half of them profess no partisan affiliation. They are Independents in matters of both church and state.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 2019 

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