There's been coverage of both the gender gap and education gap and both definitely are widening here. State female voters favored Democrats by 20 points more than male voters did. While the "college, noncollege" gap was plus 22 points for the Democrats.
But there's another gap that's having an even more profound effect on local elections: the "religion gap." The exit survey shows that the core base of the GOP white evangelical or born-again Christians now make up only 18 percent of the Washington electorate. While the rarely talked-about "Nones" those who don't identify with any religious tradition have soared to twice that, 35 percent of all voters in the state.
I'm a None, so I've deputized myself to speak for them. Nones may believe in God, or not. But they're fed up with the influence of institutionalized religion, especially as it seeps into what is supposed to be a secular government. As an outgrowth of that, the Nones don't trust government to police personal morality, are highly suspicious of any God talk by politicians or Supreme Court nominees, are strongly pro-science, and tend to be overwhelmingly socially liberal even as some may be fiscally conservative.
Here's the clincher: The Nones voted Democratic by an enormous 51-point margin in Washington state Tuesday. White evangelicals voted plus 51 for Republicans. But the math for the GOP doesn't pencil not only are there now twice as many Nones, it's also by far the fastest-growing religious group in the state, up 84 percent in 10 years, based on exit polls from 2008.
It may not be long before you can call us Nones the "Amoral Majority." "Enormous but invisible" is how The Washington Post put it about Nones on the national scene, where they now make up 21 percent of the electorate.
Whatever you call them, in statewide elections or in the Seattle suburbs, either appeal to the Nones or forget it.
This doesn't mean candidates have to be progressive liberals, the exit poll showed. Two examples: Statewide voters said by 30 points, 64 to 34 percent, that there's "too much pressure to be politically correct." Voters also said they're against a state income tax by a whopping 60 points, 79 to 19 percent. There's room for smart fiscal moderates who don't thump the Bible. But it may take years to repair the wreckage from Trump.
This is a generational realignment of who we are and our politics. As a result, the prescription for bringing the GOP back from the dead around here is daunting: Dump Trump. And dump God from politics.
Admittedly not so easy, either one. So I recommend getting started right away.