Linoleum cut by Stephen Alcorn

White evangelicals: the Republican Party at prayer

Linoleum cut by Stephen Alcorn

Linoleum cut by Stephen Alcorn

By a small margin, more white evangelicals would vote for Donald Trump than for anyone else as the Republican presidential nominee, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. At the same time, twice as many white evangelicals say they would "definitely not support" Trump than would definitely not support any other GOP wannabe. Overall, a larger number say they would definitely not support the real estate mogul than would vote for him.

As interesting as this is, it is no less interesting that these numbers are identical  to the numbers for the Republican electorate as a whole: 25 percent (vote for Trump) and 29 percent (definitely not support). In fact, across the board, white evangelicals look significantly more like Republicans in the aggregate than do Tea Partiers or, for that matter, those who identify as either very conservative or somewhat conservative or moderate/liberal.

To be sure, there are divergences here and there. White evangelicals favor Ben Carson somewhat more than the entirety of Republicans. And fewer of them say they would definitely not vote for Mike Huckabee. But these are modest survivals of an identity politics that seems to have disappeared with their overwhelming turnout for the Mormon Mitt Romney in 2012.

As of today, the Republican vote is, for all intents and purposes, the white evangelical vote.