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The Voting Amish: The Power of Pro-Life

November 20, AD2016 3 Comments


amish, cindy millen

An article that appeared a few days ago via the fake site, claiming that the “Amish American Brotherhood” had endorsed Donald Trump and that millions of Amish would be voting for him, piqued my interest. It surprised me because, first, there are not “millions” of Amish in the United States, and, second, while they do vote, they do not endorse candidates. It turns out that this article was a sham.

The Rapid Growth of the Amish

But this led me to do a bit more research, and, lo and behold, it appears that their vote markedly changed the outcome of their counties as compared with 2012. Furthermore, it is clear, that because the Amish are the most rapidly growing “minority” in the United States, their influence in key swing states where they primarily live (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, and New York, in order of population), will be very powerful in the future. In short, being pro-life (the average Amish family size is five children) means political power.

The Amish number approximately 300,000 in the U.S. and double their population every 21-22 years. As the most rapidly growing minority in the U.S., they will reach 1 million in number before the year 2050. Additionally, they also have a very high retention rate of offspring who remain Amish: 85%.  While they predominately live in a few counties in Ohio (72,495) and Pennsylvania (70,890), there are also sizeable populations in Indiana and Iowa. Surprisingly, the most rapidly growing group is located in Western New York, where 15 new settlements have developed from Ohio offshoots since 2000. Over 30,000 Amish now live in Chautauqua and Otsego Counties. From 2012 to 2016, there has been an increase in Amish in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

So what does this have to do with the 2016 election?

The Difference in the Amish Vote

Looking at the voting patterns in those counties where the Amish overwhelming dominate, it is clear that there was an increase in voting numbers from 2012 to 2016 and a change in voting patterns. While the Amish overwhelming support the typically Republican platform of pro-business, pro-life, pro-traditional family, it is clear that this year they did so at a much high percentage.

In Holmes County, Ohio, home of the largest number of Amish in the world, the vote in 2012 was 22.5% for Obama and 75.2% for Romney; this year, the vote was 16% for Clinton and 78.5% for Trump. (There were smaller percentages for independents as well.) In neighboring Wayne County, the results were similar. In 2012, 38% voted for Obama and 59% voted for Romney. This year, 29.8% voted for Clinton and 64.8 voted for Trump. Lancaster County’s vote percentages were similar.

The most dramatic change took place in the western New York counties where the Amish population has had the most recent and dynamic growth. In Chautauqua County, Obama earned 45% of the vote in 2012 as Romney earned 53%. In 2016, Clinton only received 34% of the vote while Trump scored 58%. Finally, in Otsego County, while Obama won that county with 50% of the vote to Romney’s 48%, by 2016, it had totally flipped. Trump scored 52% of the vote to Clinton’s 39%. While Trump did not win New York State, it was clear that the Republican had a stronger showing than Romney did in 2012 overall.


It summary, it seems that the quiet, hidden Amish played an important role in this election. Due to their rapidly growing population, they are growing in additional political importance each year in important swing states. Best of all, they benefit (as we do) from their pro-life stance in many ways which were not anticipated.

We should take note.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Cindy and her husband Jim were blessed to have five kids in four years (2 sets of twins), and are looking forward to grandchild number 3. Her love for reading and writing grew into the publication of several children's books (under the name C. M. Millen), poems, short stories, and a short book about the Natural Law. She enjoys growing things in her garden, knitting, the teaching (and learning) from the students at Christ the King School in Toledo, Ohio, and attending Mass there with marvelous parishioners and priests. She also writes for Catholic Mom.

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