The big demographic story out of the 2012 presidential election may have been President Obama's domination of the Hispanic vote, and rightfully so.
But as we close the book on the election, it bears noting that another less obvious bloc of key swing state voters helped the president win a second term.
They're the "nones" — that's the Pew Research Center's shorthand for the growing number of American voters who don't have a specific religious affiliation. Some are agnostic, some atheist, but more than half define themselves as either "religious" or "spiritual but not religious," Pew found in a recent survey.
They are typically younger, more socially liberal than their forebears, vote Democratic, and now make up nearly 20 percent of the country's population. Exit polls suggest that 12 percent of voters on Election Day were counted as "religiously unaffiliated."
"This really is a striking development in American politics," says Gregory Smith of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. "There's no question that the religiously unaffiliated are a very important, politically consequential group."
To me the interesting thing about this group, of which apparently I am a part, is that they will be almost impossible for the political parties to woo.
These would not be one issue voters by an stretch of the imagination, and would have numerous and probably conflicting opinions on any number of political issues.
Even the label of "Nones" is problematic as it really does not define anything except that they are either skeptics, non-joiners, or both.
However I would feel comfortable in saying that they are very likely a group that responds better to a candidate who is intelligent, articulate, and contemplative while approaching difficulty decisions. In other words somebody just like President Obama.
Having said that I am quite thrilled that this group is growing and having a positive impact on the world of politics.