Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Ind., on July 12, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/John Sommers II

White evangelicals overwhelmingly back Trump, survey says

(RNS) Donald Trump has been married three times, spoken lewdly about his daughter's body and doesn't seem to know his Bible.

Yet evangelical voters are flocking to him.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds that 78 percent of white evangelical voters say they would vote for Trump if the election were held today, and a third of them say they "strongly" back him.

This support does not startle the pollsters. "It's what we've seen consistently in past campaigns, that white evangelical Protestants tend to lean strongly toward the Republican candidate," said Jessica Martinez, a Pew senior researcher.

But this evangelical support for Trump is even higher than that enjoyed at this point in the campaign by Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.

“Trump support among white evangelical voters on par with Romney in 2012; Clinton support among religious ‘nones’ on par with Obama.” Graphic courtesy of Pew Research Center

Evangelicals form a powerful voting bloc, accounting for a fifth of all voters and a third of those who identify or lean toward the GOP. But they could be balanced in the general election by another hefty group -- the religiously unaffiliated or "nones."

The nones make up more than a quarter of registered Democrats, and two-thirds (67 percent) say they would vote for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to Pew.

The Washington-based nonprofit surveyed 2,245 adults from June 15-26 for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points for white evangelicals and 5.1 percentage points for religiously unaffiliated voters.

“Religious ‘nones’ who favor Clinton divided between those who see their choice as mainly FOR Clinton, AGAINST Trump.” Graphic courtesy of Pew Research Center

“Religious ‘nones’ who favor Clinton divided between those who see their choice as mainly FOR Clinton, AGAINST Trump.” Graphic courtesy of Pew Research Center


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Trump has worked hard to court evangelicals, scheduling campaign stops at churches and Liberty University, creating an evangelical advisory board and holding a summit in June with a cadre of evangelical leaders, one of whom emerged from the meeting asserting that Trump had just been "born again."

But Trump has also been called out by some prominent evangelicals for his statements deriding women and minority groups, his brags about his wealth and offhanded claims to a religiosity that seems to contradict his resume and lifestyle.

"Nothing beats the Bible, not even 'The Art of the Deal,'" he told a group of Republicans last summer, referring to the book he wrote on business negotiations. Then asked for a favorite Bible verse, he declined to come up with one.

A Pew poll released in January showed that a sizable minority of white evangelical Republicans do not consider Trump a pious man -- 44 percent view him as "not too" or "not at all" religious.

"But at the same time many of them thought he could make a good or a great president," Martinez said.

The current survey shows them preferring Trump by wide margins on almost every issue -- from the economy to defending the nation from terror attacks to abortion.

“White evangelical voters prefer Trump to Clinton on almost every issue.” Graphic courtesy of Pew Research Center

Despite the new poll's favorable numbers for Trump on the evangelical vote, its authors point out that it does not so much reflect evangelicals' confidence in the billionaire, as their distaste for Clinton. White evangelicals split 45 percent to 30 percent on whether their vote is anti-Clinton as opposed to pro-Trump.

The same holds true for Clinton among the nones, though by a lesser margin: 36 percent say they are voting against Trump as opposed to the 30 percent who are voting for Clinton. That contrasts with the nones' support for President Obama at this time during the 2012 election cycle, when 50 percent of votes for Obama were pro-Obama as opposed to the 13 percent that were anti-Romney.

Other findings from the new Pew survey:

-- Black Protestants solidly favor Clinton over Trump, 89 percent to 8 percent.

-- Catholics divide sharply along racial lines. Hispanic Catholics prefer Clinton to Trump 77 percent to 16 percent. But half of white Catholics favor Trump, and 46 favor Clinton.

-- Half of white mainline Protestants say they will vote for Trump, while 39 percent favor Clinton.

Comments

  1. “White evangelicals by a 45 to 30 percent margin say their vote is anti-Clinton as opposed to pro-Trump. The same holds true for Clinton among the nones, though by a lesser margin: 36 percent say they are voting against Trump as opposed to the 30 percent who are voting for Clinton.”

    More people are voting AGAINST the “enemy candidate” rather than voting FOR the candidate they actually want. This would be a great opportunity to reject both parties, but of course no one will rally behind that banner. For fear of electing a rich, racist tyrant, the voters will rally behind a different rich, racist tyrant in the name of stopping the tyrant they deem “worse”.

  2. Of course they support 2rump. This has never been about their sincere religious beliefs, but about power, money, and dominion. It’s why the Grahams supported rMoney in 2012, scrubbing all references to Mormons not really bring Christians.

    Power. Money. Dominion. The True Trinity.

  3. Of course evangelicals support Trump. Clinton is not ignorant enough, bigoted enough, cruel enough or hateful enough. And she can’t begin to compete with Trump’s expertise in demagoguery and the launching of personal attacks.

    But what about religiosity, you ask? It’s virtually irrelevant for evangelicals. Just look at the Christians who have made any headway over the years of Republican presidential primaries. Their primary appeal for evangelicals was that they were all ignorant, bigoted, cruel, and hateful demagogues.

  4. At this point, whether you’re a Christian or an Atheist or a Whatnot, you’re either supporting Trump or you’re supporting Hillary. Period.

    There won’t be anybody else on your 2016 presidential ballot except for jokers, fakers, and zombies (think Libertarians).
    So if you don’t vote for Trump, you are flat-out voting for lying HILLARY and everything that she (and her lying anti-biblical patron saint Obama) stands for.

    In other words, if you don’t vote for Trump for president (as weird as he admittedly is), you are definitely voting for HADES (Mrs. Hades, to be exact), and her deviled-egg husband Billy too !!!!!

  5. to risk a play on words, for so-called evangelical so-called christians, greed trumps everything.

  6. Interesting that you would rather vote for a serial adulterer, con artist and racist, who has never held public office rather than a former cabinet member who stayed in a marriage in good Christian form despite having a husband with a wandering eye.

    I would make a comment about your Christian morals, but I know that is an oxymoron.

  7. Probably the most accurate and best post anyone will make on this thread. My hat is off to you on this one.

  8. Trump didn’t “decline” to name a favorite Bible verse, he couldn’t name one because he doesn’t know the Bible. But he’s a “strong Christian.” The evangelicals don’t care anymore. All they want is to stop Hillary. And they’re happy to keep taking shots at the faith of Obama and Hillary, but Trump gets a pass.

  9. Are evangelicals flocking to Trump or are they being channeled to him via the cattle chutes of the two-party system?

  10. true, true, and true. no one politicizes their religion like evangelicals….

  11. Far be it from me to impugn Hillary’s “good Christian form”, but some of us voters know the real truth.

    Spuddie, do you remember the disturbing Alan Parsons song “The System Of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”? Well, that’s Bill and Hillary all the way.

    Slick Willie would scandalize each of his victims, but it was HILLARY who would silence them afterwards. They were all scared to death after The Harridan was done with them, and they would shut up and avoid pursuing the matter in the courts/media. Only Monica Lewinsky had enough guts to fight back.

  12. If Hillary wins, America loses.

    Everybody and their pet spider knows it by now.

    You want America to lose or something?

  13. Shall we discuss the millions of dollars scammed by Trump University? The fact that every one of Trump’s business partners and investors have been left dealing with the messes he creates? How about how he tried to destroy a woman’s home in order to expand the parking lot of one of his failing casinos in Atlantic City.

    As I see it bedroom shenanigans pale in comparison to systematic fraud and economic malice he perpetuates. Your priorities are all messed up. Plus you overlook Trumps serial adultery and divorce. Your notions of Christian morality are a joke

  14. And then there’s Travelgate, which Hillary totally got away with…

    …and then there’s that little back-room mess in DC, with attorney Vince Foster accidentally winding up in the Dead Wagon and a few little questions never quite getting answered.
    (Didn’t I tell you that Bill’s victims were all scared of Hillary?) …

    …and of course, just for laughs, Hillary was sure that Ambassador Stevens was “joking” when he asked her to send more security to the small town of Benghazi, Libya. Of course.

  15. They had the chance to vote for their “dream candidates”– Huckster, Santorumgoogleit, and sCruz– but they went for 2Rump.
    Their dream candidate is someone with an R after his name, and who promises to return them to the dreamland that never was, where they were the only people that matter.

  16. Totally got away with because there was nothing on her. Innuendo is not evidence of wrongdoing.

    Now court decisions are. Like the rulings against Trump with the AC woman’s home and various out-of court settlements.

    Let’s face it. You are a hypocrite.

  17. Hey, don’t take my word for it! E-mail Vince and see what HE says !!

  18. No, I want America to keep winning, which is why I’m voting for Hillary.

  19. Shame on the white evangelicals who “strongly support” Trump. I interpret “strongly support” to mean actively promoting him, donating time, money, etc. If they choose to vote for him, that’s their right. But that charlatan is so clearly not, in any sense, Christian, that “strongly supporting” him makes a mockery of their pseudo-Christianness.

    That is exactly the kind of hypocrisy that drives the increasing number of Nones when it comes to faith. No one likes a hypocrite, but hypocrites like each other. Hence, pseudo-Christians who “strongly support” him, like the super hypocrite, Trump.

  20. Ben and Spuddie, obviously floydlee has never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t immediately fall in love with. Hey floydlee, what about Agenda 21? And was the moon landing faked?

  21. Moon landing? Not fake.

    Hillary Clinton? FAKE.

  22. Not so much as being a reflexive conservative with anything not what he thinks being evil and bad. All else is just looking for “factual” support.

  23. Well, we all know that most hoot and holler Christians are bigoted, homophobic, and racist, so, it stands to reason that they would be four square behind tRump.

  24. WOW, you aced it. The redneck, wacky south is full to the brim with these RWNJs. Apologies to those in the south who have brains.

  25. OMG, are you nukkin’ futz? Are you REALLY saying that tRump never lied???? Every time that man opens his mouth, out pops another whopper. WOW, I can’t believe that anyone, in their right mind, would support a Hitler clone.

  26. Ah, so Agenda 21 is real! OMG! What about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

  27. Evangelicals do not even know what is in their own bible. Why else would they support someone that Jesus warned us all about.

  28. And those calling themselves Libertarians are really not Libertarians. Gary Johnson is just barely on the Libertarian side of the fence and on the extreme right. He may have a few Libertarian ideas, but he is well in the pockets of big business.

    Jill Stein is a true Libetrarian. All of the idiots that are calling themselves Libertarians nowadays is why the real Libertarians are The Green Party.

  29. I had no idea white evangelical voters are so independently wealthy, considering that…

    …Trump flip-flops on whether U.S wages, including the $7.50 minimum wage, are too high. (BusinessInsider-dot-com, “Donald Trump doubles down: ‘Our wages are too high’ “)

    …Trump flip-flops on importing non-US. citizens to take jobs instead of training Americans. (WashingtonPost-dot-com, “Donald Trump flip-flops, then flips and flops more on H-1B visas”)

    …Trump himself profits from offshoring U.S. jobs. (AEI-dot-org, “Donald Trump’s hypocrisy on trade: he outsources and invests globally, but doesn’t want Ford to do the same?”)

    …Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan want to eliminate Social Security. (HuffingtonPost-dot-com, “Trump and Ryan Agree: Let’s Dismantle Social Security”)

  30. I love watching nasty christians stumble all over themselves trying to explain their support for the thrice-divorced poon hound who suckers people out of their money with casinos (which keep going bankrupt). Franky Graham is just the gift that keeps on giving here. Franky said in a November 17, 2015 FB and twitter post:

    “Does God hear prayers? Does God answer prayers? The answer is yes—absolutely! He does not necessarily answer prayer according to our desires or wishes, though. That’s why it is important for us to pray for His will to be done.”

    So there you have it, christians – just pray to your god that you want Trump to win. If Hillary wins, shut up and accept your god’s decision. Just like when you kooks prayed for your god to turn the Supreme Court against gay marriage, and he told you that you were appalling crackpots and to go away.

  31. Franklin Graham, November 17, 2015 FB and twitter post:

    “Does God hear prayers? Does God answer prayers? The answer is yes—absolutely!
    He does not necessarily answer prayer according to our desires or wishes, though. That’s why it is important for us to pray for His will to be done.”

    There’s your answer – if you pray for your god to elect Trump and he doesn’t, that’s it. Your god will have spoken.

  32. Here we go again..Evangelicals are sooooo important. Think I’ve heard that before. Oh yeah..right before the last election. Evangelicals believe their own hype.

  33. “Evangelical” doesn’t mean much any more. When other surveys have parsed the data a bit, the reality is that self-identified evangelicals support Trump, and they are also evangelicals that rarely if ever attend church, which is odd to say the least. Overall, “evangelical” now means “well, I’m not an atheist or a Muslim, and certainly not a liberal, so I’m an evangelical, like all the good people”. Of evangelical leaders who support Trump, almost none have any episcopal sort of structure over them: they are beholden solely to supporters, not to doctrine or even to practice, and this has always been a problem for the Christian church, whether the leader with no reins is a mega-church pastor (usually with a hand-picked board of good-ol-boys) or a Renaissance pope. Following Jesus is strictly secondary to maintaining a money/power base (in the name of spreading Jesus, obviously, but somehow they never get around to it). I’ve stopped identifying myself as an “evangelical” for all these reasons, though my beliefs and practice hasn’t changed much over the last few years.

  34. Anyone who thinks these people are Christian, pastors or laymen alike are deluding themselves. Anyone who supports Trump is a racist, bigot and worse. You simply cannot reconcile his principles to anything that relates to Christianity. Anyone can call themselves a Christian, but that does not make it so. To be a Christian one should emulate Christ’s teachings and as far as I know, bigotry, greed, racism, turning neighbor against neighbor, lying and slandering are not part of the Christian doctrine. A matter of fact I would prefer an atheist president than any one who professes to be a Christian.

  35. Richard Rush – Couldn’t agree more. It’s a mad, mad world!!!

  36. Her Leftness – Anyone who supports Trump has the nerve to call themselves Christian. The fact is they are not Christian, pure and simple. Anyone can call themselves Christian but that does not make it so. I could call myself a Christian when in fact I am agnostic. I have studied Christianity through critical thinking for years and this is not the type of Christianity that I learned though my studies.

  37. Clinton at her worst pales in comparison to Trump and I am not a Clinton fan. I took the time to research her accomplishment, which are many. I will vote the party, to not, in my opinion shows personal immaturity and idiocy.

  38. floydlee – Monica Lewinsky was a big girl and wouldn’t have said a da m thing if her good friend hadn’t wanted her 15mins of fame. As a prominent female once said, I would rather see the president screwing women than screwing the country. I am most certainly not condoning Clinton’s behavior, he should have known better, but the whole thing was blown way out of proportion.
    No other couple in the political arena have been targeted by gossip and innuendo than the Clinton’s, with the exception of the Obamas. After 35 years under a microscope there is bound to be Clinton baggage. In saying this I am no fan of the Clintons but I don’t have to like them. Together they have accomplished a great deal of good for this country if one bothers to look, but human nature always want to see the worst in people.

  39. Errr. . .Pat Robinson had the Evangelicals, made him feel good, disgusted the rest of us.

    Trump is now chanelling Nixon, can it get any better?

  40. Thanks, Floyd, Hillary it is. Hypocrites for Trump, all day, every day, especially Sunday. THAT made up my mind.

  41. I felt as if I were watch a carni side show waiting for the fat lady to sing and get it over with. My god…. this side show reminded me of the German Nazi spectacle Adolf and his followers put on degrading everything and everyone so he could be seen as the savior. You know where that went….. I guess the xian right wants the same thing …….

  42. The hypocrisy of Christians in America is on full display now, I hope a christian never comes up to me trying to preach, my response will be stfu.

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