To whom want to know how to define or forecast a political race, that person should analyze the data and statistics of the churches, as well what and who are promoting. The main reason, why I would never vote for a candidate, it's because the candidate will be in favor of the socio-economic interests of his church as well his donors.
One problematic with politics and religion is how the faith changed the candidates; whenever it should be that the candidates had been molded through their experience of interacting with people and serving their communities.
One example it always come to my head is the case of Jeb Bush towards his exploration on politics as well switching from Episcopalism to Catholicism on his 1994 campaign for Governor of Florida. Arguing that - He didn't wanted to raise his children on a mixed marriage; as well he was motivated by his wife faith.
On a certain degree it was a form of propaganda towards his persona, but what many people didn't realized that his conversation, was to shown him as a family man towards the Hispanic demographics in South Florida, who form the strongest conservator set of votes in the entire State, and valued him as a person who was doing a conversion in order to be close to his family; but yet what many people didn't thought was " Why he, after more than ten years of marriage,? and his children being on their early twenties and late teens.
Why he was showing his children as if they were younger,? as if they were affected by the mixed marriage. The answer beyond any psychological complex reason, it shows how intrinsically politics and religion are related in North America.
There is also an oxymoron, because Jeb Bush as a politician and as a public figure, doesn't talk about his personal life openly; which just the idea of a candidate being affiliated of a certain faith will gain him more voters and acceptance than a person who profess none.
So, when a person is elected on their public offices, there is an oxymoron, a mere juxtaposition of the beliefs versus the secular environment that politics supposedly protects. Considering, that they lay their hands on their sacred book of choice, but is completely forbidden to pray on public spaces, to pray on the public schools because as the constituents aren't necessary Christians on their vast majority.
Albeit; still the idea of an atheist, humanist or a non-believer seems to be of a taboo on the White House or any public seat of power (not considering the senate or the house.) Even so, in 2011 a Gallup poll reported that the views are more favorable considering if the voters would elect a non-believers, only if they are well prepared.
On 2014 there was a Pew Research Survey on Leanings; and the views towards what would the voters would chose, isn't far different from the Jim Crow laws era. There's still a dose of racism and hypocrisy, showing that even if equality is spoken openly, is still not practiced as it should; because the perspectives of people see other people aren't favorable, unless they are from a similar enthographic group.
A case of assimilation that always strike my attention is Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, the current Governor of Louisiana, who is the son of two Punjab's that emigratted to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was born. Discrimination can be experienced by anyone who don't fit on their social environment, and as Louisiana is predominately Catholic, and as Bobby Jindal described he experienced an epiphany when he started to read the Bible, and today he is a theistic Catholic.
The idea to fit in; plays an important role on how religion fits with politics, because it involves a dynamics between people, the expositor and the audience; where trying to convince the audience is the goal. Also the complexity goes into appealing to the voters, that you are one of them.
First generation immigrants as well second generations, and descendants who bare any Pacific, Iberian or Trans-Siberian family name can experience certain forms of discrimination towards their integrity, such as social shunning. Probably Bobby experienced some form of that, and he became ashamed of who he was; or fearful of being attacked.
On a side story many Latino immigrants, even if they don't speak the language; they, deny who they are and where they came from; up to the point they deny their own heritage; but, if you are an aspiring politician, then "is OK" because you are selling your image to a population that are looking not for who can represent their social issues but mostly that they are similar to them.
Those are the reasons on why I shouldn't vote for a presidential candidate who profess more of their religion than their public work; is a popularity contest, and if I have to define on what is my patheos, I am a Humanist who is keen to Theravada Buddhism; yes, there is no God but I don't care about religion itself, I care on the change on what a candidate can do for their community and how he or she can motivate his people to do their best.
And at the end; is not that I have a choice, because there is always a mode on the elections.
* Newsweek; April 10, 2015.