American Values

Part
01
of three
Part
01

American Values: New England

New England is the least religious region in the US and contains majority of post-Christian cities in the country. New England residents are concerned about climate change and its effects. The region also shows strong support for same-sex marriage and legal abortion. These and other findings are outlined below.

Religiosity - Least Religious

  • Gallup's 2018 report 'Religiosity in U.S. Regions' determined New England as the least religious region in the US.
  • Only 26% of surveyed respondents in New England identified as 'Very religious', compared to Southwest's 45%.
  • Another 26% of respondents identified themselves as 'Moderately religious'.
  • New England had the highest rate of respondents who said they were 'Not religious' (48%, compared to Southwest's 23%).
  • Gallup also reported that 5 of New England's constituent states were among the least religious: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.
  • Of these, Vermont had the highest rate of respondents identifying as 'Not religious' at 59% followed by Maine (55%) and New Hampshire (51%).
  • Gallup noted that 3 of New England states namely New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont are the only US states whose majority of residents are not religious.

Post-Christian

  • Barna's 2017 data shows that New England along with the Northeast region contain the most post-Christian cities.
  • The number one post-Christian city is Portland-Auburn, Maine (57%).
  • Following close behind are Boston, MA-Manchester in New Hampshire (56%) and Providence in Massachusetts (53%).
  • PRRI also reported that several New England states showed significant rates of residents with no religious affiliation.
  • According to the report, 41% of Vermont respondents, 33% of New Hampshire respondents and 36% of Oregon said they were not affiliated with any religion.

Politics


Climate Change


Same-Sex Marriage

  • Pew Research's latest poll (2012) on regional differences around gay marriage showed that New England mostly favors same-sex marriage.
  • 62% of New England respondents were in favor of same-sex marriage.
  • 29% of New England respondents were in opposition.
  • New England's support of same-sex marriage is in sharp contrast with central Southern states, where 56% said they opposed gay marriage.

Abortion

  • Pew's report on regional differences over abortion laws in 2013 showed that New England is also in favor of legalized abortion.
  • 3 out of 4 or 75% of New England survey participants said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
  • 20% of New England respondents said abortion should be illegal.
  • The region had the highest rate of support for legalized abortion in all US regions.
  • New England registered a 35-point difference with South Central states, which had the lowest rate of support (40%) for legal abortion.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

American Values: Mid Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic region identifies as less religious than other regions but shows strong concern for environmental issues such as climate change and coastal health. The Mid-Atlantic region is mostly democratic and has shown support for same-sex marriage and legal abortion. These and other findings are outlined below.


Religiosity - Less Religious


Political Views - Democratic

  • Business Insider reported the results of its 2020 Democratic primary field poll.
  • According to the poll, the Mid-Atlantic is one of the 4 major regions that allocate the most delegates to the Democratic National Convention (16%).
  • The Mid-Atlantic is joined by the South Atlantic (16%), Pacific (16%), and Eastern Midwest (15%).
  • Business Insider also reports that Joe Biden has a strong base of support in the Mid-Atlantic and South regions thanks to a large percentage of African American voters.
  • The article also identified the Mid-Atlantic as "Bloomberg country".

Climate Change

  • The results of the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Coast Survey by Monmouth University Polling Institute showed that majority of Mid-Atlantic residents believe in climate change (83%).
  • 48% of surveyed respondents say climate change has negatively affected their fishing industry.
  • 57% of residents said they believe their communities can deal with sea level rise and coastal storms.
  • 40% said they believe their communities are not prepared to deal with climate change effects such as sea level rise and coastal storms.

Community Issues and Coastal Awareness

  • The Monmouth poll also showed that Mid-Atlantic residents have strong awareness and concern for their community and environment.
  • Six out of ten Mid-Atlantic residents who resided near the coast said ocean pollution (62%) and sea level rise (60%) were very serious concerns.
  • Surveyed residents also identified the loss of coastal habitats (53%), urban development near coastal areas (46%) and vanishing fishing businesses (45%) as very serious concerns.
  • Most Mid-Atlantic coastal residents (74%) said they were aware of local coastal and environmental issues.
  • 73% said they recognize that local coastal events affect other states' coasts.
  • 67% of surveyed respondents said the government should monitor the ocean's health.

Air Pollution and Cleaner Transportation


Same-Sex Marriage and Abortion

Part
03
of three
Part
03

American Values: East North Central

Americans living in the East North Central region (sometimes referred to as the Great Lakes states) are moderately religious, and fairly split on the related issues of same-sex marriage and abortion. However, the region is almost entirely aligned in its allegiance to the Republican party as well as protecting the local environment.

Religion

  • According to Gallup's 2018 report entitled Religiosity in US Regions, the East North Central region (excluding Wisconsin) identifies as a moderately religious area.
  •  Specifically, 37% of surveyed respondents in the region identified as "very religious,"  29% self-reported as "moderately religious" and 34% identified as "not religious."
  • To compare, respondents in the Southwest region were identified as the most religious (45% said they were "very religious") while those in New England were the least religious (26% reported that they were "very religious").
  • Meanwhile, the East North Central region also has a moderate Jewish influence, with 8.6% of US Jews living in the region, and those of Jewish faith representing 14.4% of the population in the East North Central area.

Political Affiliation

  • The East North Central region is largely Republican apart from Illinois, which sometimes votes with the Democratic party.
  • Notably, all states in the region voted for the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 apart from Illinois.
  • Similarly, all states in the region apart from Illinois elected Republican representatives during the more recent 2018 elections.
  • Meanwhile, a recent report of the 2020 Democratic primary field poll by Business Insider highlighted that only Senators Warren and Sanders are polling moderately/well in the East North Central region, while all other candidates for the party are polling poorly.

Same-Sex Marriage

  • Pew Research's latest poll (2012) on regional differences around gay marriage showed that the East North Central region is slightly in favor of same-sex marriage.
  •  Specifically, 49% of the region's respondents were in favor of same-sex marriage, while 42% were in opposition.
  • Notably, this most recent data marks a significant shift from 2003, when only 30% of individuals in the East North Central region were in favor of the practice.
  • In particular, the East North Central's 19 percentage point gain in support of gay marriage since 2003 is the highest of any region in the US during the same time period.

Abortion

  • Pew Research's most recent report on regional differences over abortion laws in 2013 showed that the East North Central region is fairly split on the issue of abortion.
  • While 50% of area residents believe that abortion should be legal in all/most cases, 41% believe it should be illegal in all/most cases.
  • In particular, the state of Indiana has such strong values against abortion that it has banned the practice after 22 weeks and is currently seeking to ban the practice entirely.
  • Meanwhile, this regional divide on the issue of abortion has been fairly constant in the area over time, with the East North Central region reporting approximately the same proportion of residents who are supportive or against the practice during a similar 1995-1996 survey.

Environmentalism

  • In contrast, IJC's latest survey of environmentalism in the region highlights the fact that residents of the East North Central area largely aligned about the importance of the environment.
  • Overall, 85% of area residents believe that protecting the Great Lakes is "important."
  • While recreation, wildlife protection and human health were all cited as reasons to be concerned about the local ecosystem, a strong majority (86%) of East North Central residents believe that environmental protection is essential for the recreational enjoyment and lifestyle of local residents.
  • In particular, the survey highlighted the desire of area residents to be able to access their area's local resources easily, as well as swim and fish without potential health concerns.
  • Meanwhile, a broader review of environmental activism in the region since the 1970s corroborates the area's historic commitment to the protection of its environmental resources.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "26% are "very religious" in New England, the least religious region"
  • "In contrast, the Pacific and New England regions have 10 of the 11 least religious states for the year."
  • "The percentage is below 30% in the Pacific and New England regions, while religiosity is in the 30s across the center of the country from the Rockies to the Mid-Atlantic."
  • "New England Very religious 26% Moderately religious 26% Not religious 48%"
  • "In the New England region, five of the constituent states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont) are among the 11 least religious."
  • "New England is home to the four states least likely to have residents who are very religious -- Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Three of these (New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont) are the only U.S. states with majorities who are not religious."
Quotes
  • "Most of the delegates that go to the DNC are from the coasts and the Great Lakes region, but the early states are in the Western Midwest, New England, the South Atlantic, and Mountain regions. "
  • "Warren's a coastal candidate, doing well in her New England home base but also the West Coast. Sanders does best out West, in the Mountain and Pacific time zones."
  • "Mayor Pete is really interesting: he does merely okay in the eastern Midwest, where South Bend is. But he does really well in New England, where he went to college in Boston."
Quotes
  • "Even more extraordinary than their backgrounds, though, is the fact that, in both of these deep-blue New England states, the Republican in each of those trios has an excellent chance of winning."
  • "Three of the most popular governors in the country are also in New England, and they’re Republicans: Massachusetts’s Charlie Baker, Vermont’s Phil Scott, and New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu. "
  • "New England was largely a Republican bastion until the 1960s, and several areas did not even begin to go Democratic until much later."
  • "The old, flinty, Republican New England Yankees were almost completely gone already. Newer New Englanders, with their social liberalism, were ready to try the Democratic party — and not look back."
  • "In terms of presidential and congressional politics, New Englanders still aren’t looking back; many still see federal-level Republicans as too out-of-touch and too socially conservative for their taste."
Quotes
  • " In New England, 62% favor same-sex marriage, while 29% oppose it. "
  • "A majority (56%) in the central Southern states such as Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas oppose same-sex marriage, while about a third (35%) favors it — amounting to a 27 percentage point difference compared with New England."
Quotes
  • "By contrast, support for legal abortion remains highest in New England – and the gap between New England and South Central states has widened considerably over the past two decades."
  • "New England residents are most likely to favor legalized abortion. Fully 75% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 20% say abortions should be illegal in all or most cases. "
  • "This difference has nearly doubled to 35 points in Pew Research Center surveys over the past year-and-a-half, as support for legal abortion remains widespread in New England (75%), but has fallen to just 40% in the South Central states."
Quotes
  • "In fact, New England and the Northeast—considered the foundation and home-base of religion in America—figure prominently: Eight of the top 10 most post-Christian cities are in this region."
  • "The next six cities on the list are Boston, MA-Manchester, NH (56%), Providence, RI-New Bedford, MA (53%), Burlington, VT-Plattsburgh, NY (53%), Hartford-New Haven, CT (52%), and New York, NY (51%). Next up are two big West Coast hubs: San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA (50%), and Seattle-Tacoma (50%)."
  • "According to Barna’s recent data, the most post-Christian city in America is Portland-Auburn, Maine (57%). "
  • "Eight of the top 10 most post-Christian cities are in the Northeast or New England."
Quotes
  • "There are 20 states in which no religious group comprises a greater share of residents than the religiously unaffiliated. These states tend to be more concentrated in the Western U.S., although they include a couple of New England states, as well. "
  • "More than four in ten (41%) residents of Vermont and approximately one-third of Americans in Oregon (36%), Washington (35%), Hawaii (34%), Colorado (33%), and New Hampshire (33%) are religiously unaffiliated."
Quotes
  • "New England states, and not just the liberals of Massachusetts and Vermont, talk more about the climate, as well, along with coastal South Carolina, which lies in a path many hurricanes have taken."
Quotes
  • "In 2015, 78 percent of Massachusetts voters said they believed the world was getting warmer. Today it's 88 percent -- and the public is coalescing around the cause. "
  • "The big worries among those polled in Massachusetts are all up significantly: three-quarters say they're concerned that in the coming decade the state will experience coastal flooding, extreme heat waves, and sea level rise as a result of climate change. "
  • "And 82 percent fear Massachusetts we'll be hit by more powerful storms."
  • ""Young people are much more concerned about the long-term threat of climate change, and older people are more concerned about the long-term threat of terrorism.""
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "The percentage is below 30% in the Pacific and New England regions, while religiosity is in the 30s across the center of the country from the Rockies to the Mid-Atlantic."
  • "Mid-Atlantic Very religious 33% Moderately religious 30% Not religious 36% "
Quotes
  • "The four regions that allocate the bulk of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention are the South Atlantic (16%), Pacific (16%), Mid-Atlantic (16%) and Eastern Midwest (15%)."
  • "Biden does best in the Mid-Atlantic and South, where African Americans make up a large percentage of the primary electorate."
  • "Other candidates have their bases of support: Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a force to be reckoned with in the Western Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic is Bloomberg country and Yang is a West Coast candidate. "
Quotes
  • "In the mid-Atlantic, 57% favor and 34% oppose allowing gay marriage. Opinions among those on the West Coast are similar (54% favor, 37% oppose). "
Quotes
  • "Roughly two-thirds (65%) in the Pacific Coast region, and solid majorities in the Mid-Atlantic (61%) and Mountain West (59%) also favor legal abortion."
Quotes
  • "A new set of polls of registered voters across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic finds broad support for a multi-state policy to cap carbon pollution from transportation and invest in transportation improvements. "
  • "That policy is currently being developed by the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a collaboration between 12 states and the District of Columbia."
  • "The research surveyed registered voters in the seven largest states at the TCI table: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. "
  • "Overall, 66% of voters said they would support the policy, while 23% were opposed. Support ranged from a high of 71% in New York to a low of 60% in Virginia."
Quotes
  • "Six-in-ten Mid-Atlantic coastal residents rate coastal and ocean water pollution (62%) and sea level rise and storms (60%) as very serious concerns, 53% say the same about the loss of wetlands and coastal habitats, and slightly under half say the amount of development along the coast (46%) and the disappearance of small-scale marine and fishing businesses (45%) are very serious concerns."
  • "74% of Mid-Atlantic coastal residents say they know at least some about local coastal environment issues and 73% recognize that what happens along their coast affects the coasts of other states."
  • "67% ofMid-Atlantic coastal residents say it is very important for government to collect information and maintain databases on the health of the oceans, while another 24% say this is somewhat important. "
  • "57% of Mid-Atlantic coastal residents say their communities are prepared to deal with the threats of sea level rise and coastal storms, while 40% say their towns are not prepared."